I don’t know if Joe Burrow is gonna be a great quarterback in the NFL. He isn’t as all-around talented as Patrick Mahomes, for instance. He’ll struggle to have the career of, say, Aaron Rodgers. Burrow throws a beautiful ball, quick release, Marino-like in ways. As I’ve written, he has a gift. Having a gift doesn’t mean guaranteed success.
There’s already blowback, one day after Burrow lit up Clemson like a pinball machine in the championship game. Colin Cowherd (I know, I know) doesn’t have Burrow as a top ten quarterback, ever. Some experts prefer Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence when he comes out next year. Right now it’s all talk show speculation and opinion column fodder.
Here’s what is not speculation: it is incumbent on Mike Brown to surround Burrow with the best offensive line we’ve had in years. Burrow needs time to read defenses and go through progressions, something he seems very good at until he finally flicks that arm and delivers another dime downfield. He shouldn’t be running for his life, or throwing to lousy receivers. The Bengals need to come out of the gate full speed with Burrow, a complete offense ready to score. Not a piece-meal embarrassment. It’s going to require well-scouted draft picks, and yes, free-agent talent. They need to be deep. Every team has injuries. The Bengals’ third-string left tackle should still be a bona fide NFL lineman.
This is the best opportunity Zac Taylor will have to design an NFL offense. One tailored to Burrow. If he succeeds he’ll be a coach for a long time. If the offense stinks, this is Taylor’s last head coaching job. He is dependant on the front office as much as Burrow. He must demand, as I am doing right now, the best players. We won’t care what the normal excuses are for Bengal failure.
If Burrow doesn’t have time to throw, if the playbook is limited due to personnel, and God forbid if Burrow gets hurt because the Bengals run the 2020 season on the cheap, then there is truly no hope for Mike Brown’s football soul. He’s blown his last chance, here in Cincinnati and who knows, maybe with the man upstairs.