By: Chris Roling
The new No. 85 in Cincinnati — Tee Higgins — isn’t a secret to Bengals fans.
Higgins was drafted in the second round last year and Bengals coaches made it clear they thought he was first-round-worthy. He went on to lead the team in receiving, shoving aside A.J. Green while flirting with breaking a franchise record previously held by Cris Collinsworth.
That’s why ESPN’s Ben Baby chose Higgins as the surprise player everyone should know from Cincinnati’s camp:
“It’s not often you see the team’s leading receiver from the previous season go relatively unnoticed during the offseason. But with the addition of Ja’Marr Chase, Higgins hasn’t been in the limelight as much this offseason. Still, coaches and teammates have noticed Higgins’ physical development, which was expected after he declared for the NFL early. The former Clemson standout seems poised for a big season.”
Again, Higgins isn’t a surprise to Bengals fans. But he — like most Bengals stars (ahem, Jessie Bates) — don’t get the national credit or attention they deserve.
Rest assured other Bengals players know too, though. Joe Burrow sees a big difference in Higgins going into 2021. Bengals coaches are impressed, too.
As for Higgins? He says he’s stronger and faster than last year with his emphasis on winning more big plays deep down the field.
From the sounds of it, Higgins won’t be a secret nationally much longer.