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Bengals Jottings From Super Bowl: Boyd Looking For Return Flight; A Trainer's View Of Comeback Joe; Newest HOF Tackle Boselli Backs Willie

Cool Joe in the L.A. heat.
Cool Joe in the L.A. heat.

LOS ANGELES - Emptying a reporter's notebook at a Super Bowl:

It isn't lost on Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd that the winner's share is $150,000. With Bengals head coach Zac Taylor pleading with his players to stay away from the delights offered by the City of Angels by offering to buy a plane ticket for anyone who wants to come back after they win it, Boyd has a plan.

"He knows I'll be the guy that asks him," Boyd said walking off the practice field Thursday. "First class seat. The bonus is coming. Feel me? If we win, it will make it a lot easier for him. Big bonuses." …

Thursday is typically the Bengals' toughest practice of the week and even though they already have everything installed from last week's work in Cincinnati, Boyd said they went at a pretty good clip as the temperature soared to the mid-80s.

"It might have been a little harder because of the conditions, but the boys stayed on top of being hydrated," Boyd said. "I'd say it was a pretty typical Thursday." …

Boyd thinks the Bengals have already survived the most dangerous part of the week when it comes to distractions.

"Everything gets more crowded late in the week. I don't think anybody wants to try and get to downtown L.A.," Boyd said.

Plus, the families of players, coaches and staff arrived on Thursday night. Boyd's daughter is due Friday.

"Just chilling at night after football," Boyd said. "Shopping. Whatever they want to do. All my daughter needs is a pool. " …

But there seems to be more football than anything else. Boyd wanted to make sure he was at Thursday night's watch party where wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase got NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

"It has to be him. Well deserving," said Boyd before the announcement. "Look at all the veterans he outperformed. He's up there with Davante (Adams)." …

The watch party gave you a big insight into why the players appreciate head coach Zac Taylor. He shows them respect with even the simplest of gestures. Running back Joe Mixon got to the watch party a little late and he swung around the back looking for a seat. He first passed Taylor's table, said hello and was going to keep looking. But Taylor told him to wait, he got up, went to where there were some extra chairs at the front, pulled one out and plopped one down for him …

Only two current Bengals employees were working for them the last the time they went Super. Benga

ls president Mike Brown and head trainer Paul Sparling. Sparling returns to the big game with an NFL Comeback Player of the Year in Burrow, Sparling's first who came back from an injury.

Sparling oversaw Burrow's rehab from ACL surgery and with director of rehab Nick Cosgray doing the day-to-day, Burrow took the first snap of training camp. It will be recalled Burrow had a rough first couple of weeks of camp as he tried to get acclimated to the bodies flying around his leg.

"He wasn't himself," Sparling said. "He had to knock off the rust. It takes time. You can do all the exercises you want, but until you deal with the real bullets, it's more mental than physical."

Sparling has a unique perspective. He was in the volatile Super Bowl XVI training room when tempers were short about who was getting taped first because the team buses were delayed by icy roads and a motorcade for vice president George H.W. Bush.

He says Burrow would be a great poker player.

"He'll keep it close to the vest. If he has certain feelings. He's not going to let you know it," Sparling said.

How close to the vest? Burrow doesn't even talk to his parents very much about his injuries. If he's getting hit during a game, Sparling never sees a flash of anger.

"I've never really seen a guy like him," Sparling said. "He's got some Kenny in him. He's got some Boomer in him. But he's got a lot of Joe in him. He's unrattalable. He's stoic, he's got a strut and a determination and focus to him. He doesn't let things distract him from the next play."

You Never Know Who You Might Meet at a Super Bowl:

The morning he was announced as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2022, former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli hit radio row and was glad to talk about the other offensive lineman who was on the ballot. It turned out that Boselli made it and Bengals all-time right tackle Willie Anderson didn't when the results were announced Thursday night.

But count Boselli as a guy that thinks Anderson should be in. Cleveland's Joe Thomas is now looming, but Anderson has that all-important finalist appearance on the ballot. Boselli, whose career was cut short by injury and played half the games Anderson did, was a finalist six times before he got in.

"Willie Anderson is one of the greatest players of all-time. A big, physical right tackle," Boselli said. "They had great running attacks when he was there. But he was a little underrated with his athletic ability, his footwork. It's changing now. It's not always the left tackle who is the pass protector and the right tackle the grinder. You have to do both and Willie's a guy who could do both at a high level.

"I have a ton of respect for Willie. I love what he's doing for the game, coaching and teaching young guys. Any time you get to be a finalist, you're a great player. I hope he gets in." …

You Never Know Who You Might Meet At A Super Bowl, Part II

Cris Carter, a guy who is already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Cris Carter of Middletown, Ohio is rooting for Bengals fans this week. Why not? Before he became one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, he grew up one.

"Cris Collinsworth, Isaac Curtis, Ken Anderson, Bob Trumpy," Carter said. "I listened to them on the radio 700 WLW on your dial.

"I'm happy for the fans. It's been tough times for 30 years. They deserve it."

He was flying during the AFC championship game and in the first half his TV feed cut out. So he went to Lap and Hoard on 700.

He's a big fan of Chase. An even bigger fan of one of his old teammates in Minnesota, Bengals wide receivers coach Troy Walters.

"They've got a talented football team. (Chase) is special. He's special. I think the wide receivers coach Troy Walters needs to get more attention. Joe Burrow, yes, he's there. Zac Taylor, yeah, yeah, he's there. Yeah, Ja'Marr Chase has the talent. But to put it all together, Troy Walters." …