Skip to main content

Battle Tested Joe Burrow Ready for First Crack At Advancing to Super Bowl

Burrow talks tough times in football career, what he's expecting in first AFC Championship game

As Joe Burrow and his Cincinnati Bengals prepare for their AFC Championship matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, the second-year quarterback hasn’t forgotten the adversity he’s fought through to reach this point.

Along with Burrow, a myriad of Bengals have fought the same battles and pushed forward to make it this far. For receiver Ja’Marr Chase, it was Les Miles telling him during recruiting he wasn’t good enough to play receiver for the Tigers and wanted him to play cornerback.

For Burrow, whether it be getting buried on the Ohio State Buckeyes roster or getting humbled in the SEC his first season in Baton Rouge, it’s what has molded him into the player he is today.

"Yeah, I wouldn't be the same player that I am today without those trials and tribulations that I went through [at Ohio State]," Burrow said Wednesday. "I think I am who I am because of the difficult times that I went through in my career. And if you look at all the quarterbacks that were in the playoffs, a lot of them have gone through a lot of adversity throughout their careers.”

From going the JUCO route, transferring to other programs for an opportunity to showcase their skills or having to fight for a roster spot, it’s what Burrow feels makes this team so special. Players who have fought to reach this point in their career. A chance to play in the AFC Championship Game.

"Just got a lot of tough people within the locker room and I think guys that have gone through a lot of adversity in their careers," Burrow said. "Whether it’s in college or in the NFL, we have guys that are battle-tested."

Adversity has come in all shapes and sizes for Burrow, but one instance that will last with him forever is the headset malfunction that occurred against the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Unable to hear the play calls from his helmet, Burrow was left to call the shots himself for a few plays, something he and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor are going to joke about for quite some time.

"Never been in that position before," Burrow said of his headset malfunction. "That was kind of exciting for me. Zac always jokes don't pretend like the headset goes out so you can call your own plays. All of them worked. That was fun."

Some may have called that a difficult situation to be put in, but of course Burrow hit it head on and succeeded. It’s just the way he is. A cocky, calm player in the most trying of times, Burrow just seems to pull through.

Now getting prepared both physically and mentally for the biggest game of his young football career, Burrow and his Bengals are taking it a day at a time to dissect what the Chiefs will be throwing at them Sunday afternoon.

A major topic of conversation leading into Sunday’s contest is the noise that Arrowhead Stadium produces. Burrow even coming as far as saying it, "gets way louder in the SEC than in any of these NFL stadiums."

The Chiefs fan base is sure to give Burrow a taste of what it feels like to play in one of the most hostile stadiums in the NFL, but the gunslinger is more than ready for the test.

"In the SEC, every single week it seems like every stadium is really loud, there's hundreds of thousands of people," Burrow said Wednesday. "This one is going to be similar. We expect it to be really loud, we're talking about it throughout the week. We're going to have to be great with our communication, our non-verbal communication, just like every week on the road."

As Burrow and his squad gear up for one of the loudest atmospheres they’ll face, the battle tested group will be more than ready for the task at hand. With someone as cool, calm and collected as Burrow leading the charge, this group has the chance to continue beating the odds and punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.