In his first press conference since signing his rookie deal, Cincinnati Bengals franchise quarterback Joe Burrow demonstrated grace, humility, and dedication. It’s that last quality that suggests he’ll be able to surprise cynics.
Bill Polian, among others, suggested that Burrow will struggle mightily:
“Joe Burrow’s gonna struggle. He’s gonna struggle. He’s so far behind now, lord.”
Now, before you get upset, remember that Polian came up as a scout before the internet, advanced analytics, or the complicated college offenses we see now. In other words, he doesn’t really know what Burrow does and does not know.
Still, the time and opportunities the rookie lost because of the pandemic would be concerning... if Burrow wasn’t obsessed with preparation.
During the virtual meeting with reporters, Burrow made clear that preparation is what will set him apart. Part of that preparation means developing chemistry with his wide receivers.
He mentioned that he met with receivers a couple of weeks ago and is now throwing with rookie receivers. This week, he will begin working with the veteran pass catchers. This quote in particular demonstrates how much Burrow studies his teammates and their tendencies, almost like the great point guards from NBA history:
“You always have to have great timing with your guys and understand how they want to run certain routes, all the nuances of their body language when they run even single route.”
While Burrow will certainly go through growing pains regardless, it seems that he has the type of personality to overcome at least some of the challenges of this very strange offseason.