This was for a few reasons. The primary one was that the Bengals’ franchise QB is believed to possess a lot of the same traits as Tom Brady, the man who just won his seventh championship. While neither has an elite athletic profile, they both exude confidence, make critical plays for their teams, and—perhaps most importantly—are infectiously charismatic.
Whatever you want to say about Brady and the rosters he’s been on, you have to give the man credit at some point. Not just for his own performance passing the ball, but for the overall success of his teams. Yes, he didn’t play defense last Sunday. But just knowing you have a QB who will do his part when it matters gives even defensive players added energy and motivation.
Furthermore, players—even opposing ones—almost always have nice things to say about the 43-year-old, who often approaches younger players with sincere advice. As much as his rivals might want to hate him, they have found it is hard to do. He’s just that likable. Just take what Von Miller, another Super Bowl MVP, had to say about him a couple years ago.
Von Miller got to hang with the Patriots crew at the Derby. “It’s extremely hard not to like Tom Brady and all of those guys.” Von then jokingly added, "I’m a Tom Brady fan unless on Sundays.”— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) May 13, 2019
That sort of charisma is an attribute of some of the most powerful leaders in world history. In Economy and Society, the German sociologist Max Weber (d. 1920) wrote: “Charismatic belief revolutionizes men ‘from within’ and shapes material and social conditions according to its revolutionary will.”
That’s powerful stuff. But it does help explain how Brady transformed the culture of two franchises. And it gives us hope that Burrow can do the same for Cincinnati.
Lastly, Brady talks the talk and backs it up, which gets other players feeling like they’re part of the ride. That was no different this last victory.
Leonard Fournette said all week long, Tom Brady was texting everyone at 11:00 at night saying, "We WILL win."— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) February 8, 2021
While Burrow is just beginning in the NFL, similar words have been spoken about him. Take Carlos Dunlap’s most recent interview, in which he had negative things to say about his former franchise but revealed he’s still rooting for Burrow to succeed.
Another reason Burrow’s name was trending was that the Super Bowl confirmed just how important it is to have a solid offensive line. Brady benefitted from his time in the pocket and won Super Bowl MVP. Patrick Mahomes, meanwhile, played behind backup o-linemen and had perhaps his first bad performance as a professional. This is not an outlier. It’s the reality of the NFL.
congrats to anyone curious what Mahomes would look like playing for the Bengals— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) February 8, 2021
If the Bengals can give Burrow what Brady had, a competent o-line and a d-line that can create pressure, there is no doubt that he, too, will find his way deep into the postseason, perhaps as early as next season.
Jake Liscow of “Locked on Bengals” joined us to discuss what the Bengals need to do this offseason. You can watch below:
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