Joe Burrow has the accuracy, preparation, and mobility necessary to thrive in his first-ever NFL game. But he’ll still need a big performance from his offensive line.
Joe Goodberry came out of retirement to tell us what the Bengals can do to help Burrow in his debut.
Goodberry said he feels okay about Jonah Williams matching up with Melvin Ingram in the left tackle’s first ever game. Bobby Hart against Joey Bosa, though, is a different story.
Goodberry says Bosa one of the top two or three pass rushers in the NFL. “It’s going to be a blood bath,” he said. “They’re going to have to get the ball out as quick as possible, play-action, misdirection, anything to get Bosa to flatten his feet just for a half second to get Burrow just that little bit of extra time.”
He said that the Bengals will have to get the ball out in less than two and a half seconds, use quick reads, RPOs, and play-action, all of which Burrow used a lot at LSU. “What that does is make the defense line read run for at least half a second and then gives you that little bit of extra time.”
Still, Goodberry is hopeful that Burrow’s ability to process play developments and use his feet is “at another level” than the Bengals’ previous starter, Andy Dalton. He said that when Burrow can go off script, it will make the o-line and receivers look much better.
He also said that the Bengals have an advantage with their wide receiver depth and will try to take advantage of the Chargers’ subpar linebackers who aren’t very good in coverage. “I think they’re going to attack that over the middle of the field.”
“I think Boyd’s out there every snap, but the rest of those guys, I think we’ll see a heavy rotation,” Goodberry said about the receivers. “And that’s probably a good thing.” While the team lacked playmakers at receivers when John Ross or A.J. Green weren’t on the field, now they can replace them with Tee Higgins and Auden Tate for a number of snaps each game, he said.
Prediction: Goodberry thinks that Burrow will have a solid debut but won’t light up Los Angeles’ defense. His predicts the rookie will complete a high percentage of his passes, throw for about 250 yards, 1 touchdown, and one interception in a tight game.
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