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The Conversation: Chase Brown: The Bengals' Young Man In A Hurry Says, 'That's How I'm Wired'

HB Chase Brown scores a touchdown during the Colts-Bengals game in Week 14 of the 2023 season on Sunday, December 10 at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
HB Chase Brown scores a touchdown during the Colts-Bengals game in Week 14 of the 2023 season on Sunday, December 10 at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Since it's a short week with the Bengals set to play the Vikings Saturday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 9, NFL Network) at Paycor Stadium, senior writer Geoff Hobson had to conduct a quick interview with rookie running back Chase Brown. Not quite as fast as last Sunday's 54-yard run-and-catch, Brown's first NFL touchdown clocked at 22.05 miles per hour, second-best on the NFL GPS this season.

But Brown's NFL journey has been anything but meteoric. The resilient and determined story of his Toronto childhood with twin Sydney as his family persevered through illness and poverty captured the nation during the NFL Draft.

Now, suddenly, the dream is beginning to be realized. As sudden as a 54-yard blip.

The conversation:

GH: Every day you write down your routine for the day the night before. Did you do it last night?

CB: I still do it. Kind of have it down now. It's like bullet points. Before it was a lot more exact. Now it's just bullet points.

GH: Because you don't have time?

CB: Yeah, but also we all become more efficient as we become wiser. So, I don't write out every little thing now, but little bullet points to follow for the day.

GH: What did you put down for last Sunday?

CB: The usual. Wake up at seven, be ready by nine, drive at 9:30. Review the plays once I get in. Stretch. Same little routine with the hyper-vise and little stuff like that for the pregame and then warm up with the team and start rolling.

GH: Do you write down just what you do have to do for work and football?

CB: Mostly for what I'm going to do when I'm particularly busy just so my mind is clear and I'm organized going into pregame. But postgame, we've got some time to relax and have my family here. So my time with them isn't exactly organized, so I don't write that down.

GH: What did you guys do Sunday after the game?

CB: I really didn't do anything. My brother was playing that night, so I watched him play. He's playing for the Eagles, so that was my treat. I got to watch him play.

GH: How did he do?

CB: He did well. The team struggled a little bit. As far as him playing his role, he did a good job.

GH: Special teams, right?

CB: Special teams and he played a lot at safety because (Reed) Blankenship went down, so he was he was out there pretty much the entire game.

GH: He probably played more than you did.

CB: He probably got more snaps. He probably did.

(Chase played a career-high 18 snaps, Sydney played a career-high 58 in the Eagles' loss to the Cowboys.)

GH: Did you talk to him after? Did you guys talk about your game?

CB: I did. Obviously disappointed. Losing sucks. He was definitely excited, pumped up (about his TD). We briefly talked about that, but we're more like checking in on each other. Like, What's new? We really don't talk football when we talk. It's, what's going on? What's new?

GH: Do you talk every day or every week …?

CB: Probably every single day. Every other day. If it's not one day, I know I'm going to talk to him the next day. Constant talk.

GH: Twins, right? Do you have that spiritual thing going that people say twins have? They know what the other person is feeling if they're apart?

CB: Twin telepathy? I know I know. I can look in his eyes and know what he's thinking.

GH: Do you think he felt like he was going 22.05 miles per hour like you were on your touchdown run?

CB: Probably. Probably. He said he was standing up on the bed jumping around as he was watching.

GH: And then when you're watching the game, can you see what he's thinking at all or can you kind of sense what he's thinking if he makes a tackle or something?

CB: Yeah, yeah. I know what he's thinking. I played with him for four years at Illinois. I know him. I know the way he reacts. Just by the look on his face I know what he's thinking.

GH: That's got to be fun.

CB: It is. It's the benefit of being a twin.

GH: Who was here from your family Sunday?

CB: My high school coaches came up for the game (from Florida).

GH: How about your mother?

CB: They haven't been out here since the Seattle game. She loves watching us play and that's what she does on the weekends.

GH: How often do you talk to her?

CB: Probably every other day. I'm pretty close with my mom and my grandma, so I try to talk to them as much as I can. My grandma is retired. She held everything together (when his mother became sick after giving birth to daughter Mya). She's retired now and relaxing, as she should be.

GH: They're such a big part of your life. Did they give you any advice when you hurt your hamstring and missed four games in the middle of this season?

CB: All the football stuff, I've learned to handle myself. If I'm going through something, I handle that on my own.

GH: All the things you went through growing up, I feel like I'm talking to a 40-year-old guy. What a story.

CB: No doubt. It just made me who I am today. I think everybody goes through some sort of trial, some sort of tribulations. Everybody has their own story. Mine's just a little bit different.

GH: Was Sunday the apex so far?

CB: Definitely. I think the high point was getting opportunity to play for the Bengals. I think that was a pretty cool thing. but I don't think I've hit a high, high point. I want to do more, it's just the opportunity and whatever comes my way, I'll just make the most of it.

GH: What was the lowest point of your life?

CB: I went through a lot when I was a kid. The whole pre-draft process was pretty mentally draining. That was pretty tough.

GH: What about living in the shelters as your mom battled illness while trying to keep the family going financially?

CB: I was with my family, so I don't see that as a super low point. I was with my mom and my brother, and my little sister. I don't think that was a low point for me. I had my family there.

GH: Your family also lived with your grandmother.

CB: Yes. We always had her.

GH: That's a pretty interesting way of looking at it. You didn't have much, but you had each other.

CB: It sounds cliche, but it's true.

GH: So the toughest point may have been before the draft?

CB: I guess. Not knowing where I was going to end up. There's so much uncertainty hanging out there. There's so much unknown. I think that was pretty hard for me. I was obviously happy for my brother. I saw him go (drafted) on day two and (I was) a day two hopeful.

GH: What was that night like when he got drafted in the third round and you didn't go until the next day in the fifth?

CB: Oh man, I drove home as soon as the last picks were going on. I drove home. I don't even want to re-live that. Everything happens for a reason.

GH: That day may have been the toughest.

CB: Yeah, yeah. No doubt. No doubt. I was happy for him. I was happy for him. Obviously, you know, that made it tougher. But I definitely put a little chip on my shoulder. Just wanted to keep working. But everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't be here if I went day two. I'm glad I'm here. I'm glad I'm a part of this team. Everything happens for a reason. I'm just trusting the plan.

GH: Do you think that typifies your outlook on life. 'We were together in the shelter. I don't see that as a down moment.' A positive outlook on things?

CB: I always try and stick to positivity. I mean negative energy, you're just taking it from others. I think that's a really true statement. One thing I can control is my energy, my outlook, and that's always what I'm going to do.

GH: What's the one thing you learned from Joe Mixon?

CB: He's a decisive runner. He also has good practice habits. He always finishes his run reps. I see him explode through. I never really thought of doing that in college. I never really did that in college, but since I've been in the league, when I have opportunity to open up, especially during the week in practice, that's the time to do it. So when it comes to the game, it's normal, you're not doing something you haven't done before.

GH: What's been the biggest adjustment to the NFL?

CB: Speed. I played in the Big Ten, so I played really good athletes, but the NFL is just different. Everybody's a good athlete. Everybody's smart.

GH: But you've got speed.

CB: I'm fast, too. But I remember my first NFL carry. I'm like, man, that was bleeping fast. I don't how I'm supposed to react to this crap. And then as you get more experience, more reps, it starts to slow down for you. Just like in college.

GH: Was that in the preseason?

CB: Yeah. Even my first (regular-season) carry against the Ravens. Man, that was bleeping fast. That was faster

GH: That's what they say. Three speeds. Wait until the playoffs.

CB: That's the third one. But right now it's finishing these games and taking one week at a time and the playoffs will come our way. Just have to win.

GH: They're all playoff games now. Was it faster Sunday against the Colts?

CB: It's starting to slow down for me. As I get more opportunity and reps, things slow down.

GH: And like you said after the game, the move you made inside the 5 to make the last guy miss, cutting back to the field, was right out of practice.

CB: We do that weekly in practice. Sideline skinny. Did that weekly in practice in college. Just executed on game day.

GH: How many calls have you gotten about your miles per hour time? Faster than The Cheetah Tyreek Hill.

CB: I've seen it on social. He's a great player. I wouldn't compare myself to anybody like that yet. Maybe years down the road we can start putting my name up to guys of that caliber. But right now, I'm just building a name for myself and trying to find ways to help this team on a weekly basis. So keep doing that and the bigger picture will paint itself once I reflect on it all.

GH: When did you find out about the time?

CB: I saw it on the board. I've hit 22 before on kickoff, like running down on kicks, so I knew I could move.

GH: But this time you had the ball in your hand. Only Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf has had a faster time this season.

CB: I did see that. I feel like I probably could have gone faster if I had a straight line, but I had to make somebody miss at the end. If it was a straight line like Metcalf, I probably could have gone faster.

GH: Do you think this game put you over the hump and on a path?

CB: I feel like I've been on this path for this entire time since I stepped into the locker room. Ups and downs, but everybody's path is different.

GH: What was on your list for today? Did I make it?

CB: I had you on there. I had a couple of interviews this morning. One at 9:30, this one. Then treatment. Get my body right. Go over install and then obviously we have a practice schedule. The morning was wake up, eat breakfast. The basics.

GH: Why do you have to write down, eat breakfast?

CB: That's how I'm wired.

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