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How much weight does Joe Burrow’s vote of confidence in Zac Taylor really carry?

Obviously the rookie QB is going to support his coach. But is he just being the consummate professional or does he see something we don’t?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Early Monday morning, Mike Brown came out and supported his head coach, Zac Taylor.

Just a few hours later, Joe Burrow tweeted something eerily similar.

Let’s take a look at the two statements. Here’s Brown:

And here’s Burrow:

Burrow echoes Brown’s trust in the “foundation” the Bengals are building. That’s very careful language. It is essentially an admission that Taylor and the coaching staff have not gotten results so far. But there is something underneath what we see, a “winning culture” perhaps, that they are slowly developing in Cincinnati. It steers the conversation away from the team’s play and asks us to place blind trust in the future.

Brown then says that “... we look forward to next year giving our fans the winning results we all want.” Burrow says: “Look forward to giving the fans what they deserve.” In other words, they both want to tell fans: “We hear you and know how frustrated you are, but we’re working on it.”

It is impossible to ignore the similarities of the two short statements. At best, Burrow decided to toe the company line and select language that wouldn’t cause controversy, even though he agrees with the sentiment. (The final sentence about not watching a game on television again appears to be an attempt to lighten the mood, distinguish his speech from Brown’s ever-so slightly, and reinforce the previous statement by remind fans that he will soon be back and things will get better.) At worst, Burrow is - indeed - not happy with the results the team has gotten but knows that he is in no position to pass judgment on the coaching staff at this point in his career.

Then, on Thursday, Burrow sat down for an interview with Colin Cowherd. When asked if he hit it off with Taylor quickly or if it took time, Burrow said it was “immediate.” He then said:


“I think he is going to be a great coach for a long time. And I’m happy to be in the position I’m in, and to help build this organization. But it’s going to be on Zac’s back. He’s the leader of what we’re trying to do, and he’s awesome.”

The phrase “it’s going to be on Zac’s back” seems to indicate that the coach will be expected to get it done in the near future. Yes, the QB is a big part of the rebuilding process, but without good coaching, it will be impossible to build something special on the aforementioned foundation.

John Sheeran and I discuss Burrow’s and Brown’s statements above and more in the video below:

You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: