The downside of the Cincinnati Bengals not rostering an experienced quarterback is embedded in that statement. The total experience they possess at that position is Ryan Finley’s 104 drop backs from last season.
It’s by far the greenest group of players on the roster, if you will, but that’s not bothering offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. Several weeks into their virtual offseason, the second-year assistant has genuine praise for his signal-callers.
“Joe Burrow’s been outstanding and so have all the other quarterbacks. It’s been fun,” Callahan told Tyler Dragon of The Enquirer. “We really get to talk about a lot of things that sometimes you don’t get to talk about this time of year because we are just meeting a lot. I’m sure they are tired of meeting. I know it kind of wears on you eventually. They’ve been locked in and they’ve been responding to everything. As far as learning it and picking it up, they’ve been great.”
Callahan brings up a good point. By this point, rookie minicamps would’ve been over and coaches and players would be normally be distant from each other in the form of a traditional Summer offseason. This year, with COVID-19 turning the offseason on its head, teams have been granted more opportunities to communicate, even without the ability to practice together.
That extra time will hopefully pay off when the regular season rolls around. Burrow, the team’s highly-praised No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, will be the unquestioned starter at the most important position on the roster, and his backups are learning with him as he goes.
By neglecting the backup quarterback spot this offseason, the Bengals are banking on Callahan, head coach Zac Taylor, and quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher to all provide the wisdom a veteran passer could provide. When the preparation meets the gridiron, we’ll find out if it was a plan worth investing in.