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'Silent Warrior' Joe Burrow built Bengals' composure amid Super Bowl run

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow speaks at a media availability before Super Bowl LVI on Friday at UCLA's Drake Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/09135b940384d46c8b54a68ad5de2d75/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow speaks at a media availability before Super Bowl LVI on Friday at UCLA's Drake Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Joe Burrow said he won't force his methodical football approach on other Cincinnati Bengals players. Nevertheless, that composure infected his teammates and helped drive them to Super Bowl LVI.

It also earned Burrow, who already goes by several nicknames, a new monicker.

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"I would describe Joe as a 'Silent Warrior,'" Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd said Friday at UCLA's Drake Stadium in Los Angeles.

"He is a very chill guy. People on the outside may think he is nonchalant or cocky. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and he never takes anything for granted. He sits back and isn't satisfied. He didn't celebrate any week until we won.

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"He was the most perfect fit for this team."

Burrow has reason not to take the game for granted. The second-year quarterback won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award Thursday due to his sensational 2021 season, which followed a season-ending knee injury in 2020.

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He struggled in off-season training camp as he continued to recover from his injury, but rebounded to lead the Bengals to an unexpected run to the NFL title game.

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Several Bengals players admitted Friday that they have a habit of watching Burrow not just when he plays, but also when he is on the sideline. His mannerisms and delivery in conversation keep the team levelheaded in tense situations. That enables the team to make second-half comebacks and compete with some of the league's best teams.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase also noticed those traits when he was Burrow's college teammate at LSU. Burrow and Chase now have as good of chemistry as any quarterback-wide receiver connection in the NFL.

"He played a big part in getting me here," Chase said. "I can't ask for nothing from Joe.

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"I do whatever he asks me to do. He's a god to me."

Other teammates say Burrow doesn't yell at them or get over-animated in any situation. He backs up that demeanor with physical runs when needed, accurate defensive reads and a league-best completion percentage of 70.4%.

"Growing up, playing a lot of sports, when I celebrated really hard I would get worn out at the end," Burrow said, when asked why he doesn't get overly excited before or during games.

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Burrow said he now levels out his energy to maximize his performance throughout the entirety of a game. Other Bengals players say they try to mimic that trait, despite Burrow's reluctance to force the lesson.

"I would never try to tell someone else how to go about their business," Burrow said. "But staying levelheaded works for me, some guys can celebrate every single thing they do and that works for them."

The concerted effort to limit energy output before games and after big plays, which would attract attention to Burrow, also helps the team keep a selfless mindset.

"Joe is a common effect," Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton said. "He's never too high or too low. As a quarterback, that's a great trait to have. Lots of eyes are on you.

"We look for him to lead us. And we know he is going to keep that calm demeanor. He is just 'Joe Cool.'"

Los Angeles Rams players took notice of the same traits when they examined footage of Burrow over the past week in their preparations for Super Bowl LVI on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif.

"I hold a lot of value on guys who play with swag, want-to and heart," Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey said. "Those are things you can't measure. He seems like a guy who plays with swag and heart. He wants it. It's something that's contagious.

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"Being the franchise quarterback, you can see his teammates take on that persona."

Burrow will face a serious challenge to keep that composure Sunday against the Rams' defensive line, led by All-Pro Aaron Donald.

The Rams defense totaled 50 sacks this season, the third-most in the NFL. The Bengals offensive line allowed 55 sacks, which also ranked as the third-most in the league.

Overcoming that aggressive pursuit could earn Burrow yet another nickname by Sunday night.

"Whatever anybody wants to call me is OK with me," Burrow said.

Super Bowl LVI kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST and airs on NBC.

In photos: 2022 Super Bowl Experience

Visitors immerse themselves in the history of the NFL at an interactive exhibition at the Los Angeles Convention Center last weekend. The Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals will meet in Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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