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The Bond Between the Bradleys and Burrows

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2020 is a year and now, a season unlike any other.

Game planning for Week 1 can be a challenge in any year, but with no preseason film to go off of, it presents a new set of hurdles – especially when going up against a rookie quarterback like Cincinnati Bengals QB, Joe Burrow.

While the Bolts did their due diligence on Burrow in the draft as head coach Anthony Lynn said earlier this week, the team's defensive coordinator has a familiarity with him unlike any other.

Gus Bradley and Burrow's dad, Jim, coached together at North Dakota St. in the 2000s, and he's known Joe since he was elementary school age when he would visit the football fields in Fargo, N.D.

The Bradleys and Burrows were close. Besides the working relationship, Bradley said they also were tight-knit, family friends.

The environment Joe grew up in is something Bradley recognizes in his game as he wasn't just the son of a coach, but football ran through their family with his brothers and dad playing the game at Nebraska.

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"You can see it in him," Bradley said. "He grew up as a coach's son and his mindset throughout. I haven't had a chance to talk to him since then, (only) on occasion, so that makes it even more unique. You kind of watch him on tape and you have a personal relationship with him. Then to watch him at LSU and see all the good things he did and now carry it over.

"It's a great family. Jimmy and I still have conversations. And Robin, his mom, we were personal friends and family friends, so we've had a chance to follow his career … It's a talented, athletic family. But even more than that, great people."

So with that keen knowledge, what has Bradley seen from Joe Burrow?

"We have a good idea about the type of mentality he has," he mentioned of the QB. "I know he's extremely competitive. He's a really strong leader. He'll have a presence for that team. We know those qualities. We don't have a lot of tape in the NFL to bank it off of, but we know what he'll bring."

Bradley noted Burrow also possesses that dual-threat ability they'll keep their eyes on this Sunday.

But along with the physical traits, Burrow also has intangibles evident from his tape at LSU.

"We talk about (three things) in terms of looking at quarterbacks: their timing, accuracy and decision-making. We've got plays where he's got great touch; he can throw the deep ball. He's got really good poise in the pocket … He's a guy that will run it … He's a threat to run. He scrambles, he extends plays. When he is extending plays, he's looking downfield which you don't see really often, especially with younger quarterbacks. So, he's looking for that big play. That opportunity to make a play."

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