There is no doubt that the Cincinnati Bengals aren’t sitting where they are right now without quarterback Joe Burrow.
It is also very clear that Burrow has plenty of intangible abilities that are hard to capture in a box score. The way that he is able to inspire his team, keep cool under pressure and most importantly take hit after hit without being rattled is just special.
It turns out that last trait traces back to a moment when a young Burrow was inspired by recently retired quarterback Tom Brady.
“My earliest memory of something like that from a quarterback was when Tom, I think you were playing the Bills and you were running to the right, and you slid and somebody just knocked your head off,” Burrow said on the Let’s Go! Podcast.
“Helmet goes flying. You got up so fast, and I saw that I was like ‘I wanna be like that. I’m going to do that. I forgot how old I was, I was probably in middle school at this point. I just remember that vividly and trying to model myself after that.”
People may forget that there was a time when Brady was known for taking those big hits. In recent seasons he would be more likely to cry for a flag after getting incidentally swiped on the helmet after releasing a pass.
Brady was also quick to compliment Burrow’s toughness earlier in the interview.
“I love it. I love it, because there are very few ways to display toughness for a quarterback,” Brady said. “We don’t play at the line of scrimmage, we don’t have to block, we don’t have to tackle, we don’t have to hit anybody. The way we can show our toughness is to stand in the pocket and make throws. Sometimes you get the (crap) knocked out of you, and you got to get up and go on to the next play.
“You don’t ever want to show anyone, ‘Man, you really got me good on that.’ I think what I love about Joe’s game is he does just that. He gets knocked down, he gets up, and he’s ready for the next play.”
It is clear there is a ton of mutual respect between these two players. One played for 22 seasons and got seven rings along the way. The other is in his second season (first full year) and looking to land his first ring. Burrow mentioned at the beginning of the interview that he felt like it is too early to be mentioning him with Brady just yet. However, it is hard to ignore the similarities in their games. If Burrow succeeds in Super Bowl 56 then it is just another similarity between the two.