No matter the circumstances surrounding the NFL offseason, coachspeak remains undefeated.
Even after a two-month period of completely virtual interactions, head coach Zac Taylor isn’t changing his confident tone regarding Joe Burrow. The second-year head coach told Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated that in place of traditional mini-camp practices, he had his rookie quarterback go through full-on walkthroughs and scream his cadence into a conference call for his teammates to hear for the first time.
“If you have Philip Rivers, I don’t know that you’d have to do that,” Taylor said. “But for the guys, our center [Trey Hopkins] had never heard Joe Burrow call a cadence before. He needed to hear his voice, and I needed to hear it, so you could make the corrections that he can work on all summer. We were able to get a lot accomplished that way. I feel really good coming out of it that we used every second they allotted us and got a lot of work done.”
As Taylor knows, the Bengals do not have Philip Rivers, or any quarterback close to his age. Hell, Taylor himself isn’t even as old as Rivers. The mental expectations for Burrow haven’t been diminished despite his youth, and based on the bang he ended his collegiate career with, they shouldn’t be.
“He’s been great,” Taylor said. “As advertised is the best way to put it. You can tell he spends a lot of time on his own being prepared with questions and he’s doing a great job taking ownership, which is important for a quarterback to do, and he’s doing everything he can to own this offense. Been really impressed with him, but not surprised.”
The offseason is obviously far from over and who knows how long it will be until teams get to congregate again, but the beginning of Taylor and Burrow’s relationship has been as positive as coaches usually claim it to be.