Neither Jonah Williams nor Joe Burrow have played a down of NFL in their lives. That hasn’t stopped either of them from dominating recent Bengals news.
Williams got his chance to speak to local media in a virtual press conference Monday afternoon. He talked about the challenges facing the team leading up to the regular season and the two specific challenges he’ll face, Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett, when the regular season does begin.
He also answered a question about Burrow, because of course a question about him was asked.
When asked about his initial impressions of Burrow by ESPN Bengals reporter Ben Baby, Williams described how well Burrow has managed to lead the offense, including how constructive he’s communicated for such a young player.
Jonah Williams said it's been great to see Joe Burrow be vocal early: "Some guys wouldn’t want to speak up like that. They wouldn’t want to give suggestions to a bunch of veteran o-linemen. But he does it in a way that we all respect it and appreciate his input."— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) August 10, 2020
Having only been in the league for just one year, Williams isn’t exactly a seasoned veteran, but he has seen a rookie quarterback take reps as a starter for the Bengals.
The three-week run of Ryan Finley controlling the Bengals’ offense last year was forgettable at best. It would set a drastically low bar for Burrow, or any other rookie, to eclipse. Judging by the universal praise Burrow has been receiving by his teammates and coaches thus far, it’s safe to say he’s doing more than raising that bar.
The seemingly minor actions Burrow has been doing will be the things that can make him an outlier as far as rookie quarterbacks go. To take charge as the franchise quarterback while also commanding in a respectable fashion is no small feat for a first-year signal caller coming out of an entirely virtual offseason.
Williams’ appraisal is just the latest example of what makes Burrow worthy of the hype.