Joe Burrow Takeaways: Why the Bengals' Star Took a Step Back This Offseason

The 27-year-old has been open and honest about his recovery from season-ending wrist surgery.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass at Bengals spring practice at the IEL Indoor Facility in Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass at Bengals spring practice at the IEL Indoor Facility in Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. / © Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
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CINCINNATI — Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow met with the media for nearly 20 minutes on Tuesday afternoon.

The 27-year-old was asked about his surgically repaired right wrist, how he's doing physically, mentally, his mindset going into training camp and so much more! Here are three takeaways from Burrow's news conference:

Super Bowls Can't Be Won In June

Burrow made it clear that he's shifted his mindset this offseason. The wrist injury was complicated and instead of trying to play through the aches and pains in June, he's taking a long-view approach with hopes that he'll not only be 100% by the start of the season, but that he'll be able to stay that way throughout this year.

"We don't have to be ready to go in the middle of June. We have to be ready to go early September through February," Burrow said. "That's how we're attacking this offseason and this rehab plan and these practices and training camp. We're attacking it like I want to be out there playing in February."

Burrow had some tightness in his calf after the first day of training camp last year. He went out there and practiced again on the second day and ultimately suffered a strained calf at the end of the session.

"I don't think I quite handled it the right way. I definitely would have taken some more time," Burrow said. "I would say the calf was the catalyst for that change."

Both Burrow and the Bengals want to avoid that situation moving forward. Sometimes it isn't worth the risk to push through injuries, aches and pains in July and August—especially when you're a franchise quarterback.

"I feel really good about the player that I am, because of that work that I put in. Now, I feel like I'm transitioning more to listening to my body and making sure that I'm feeling 100 percent so I can go out and perform, and I'm not making these big leaps year-to-year," Burrow said. "I feel really about where I'm at as far as how I'm going to play. Now it's just about making sure my body is in the right place to be able to do that."

Regular Season Mindset

While Burrow understands the importance of rest during the offseason, he doesn't plan to tweak his mindset in season. He surprised a lot of people when he played through the calf injury last year—especially after he reaggravated it in Week 2 against Baltimore.

"I think my mindset in the regular season is always going to be the same at that point," Burrow said. "Building your body up is kind of behind you. That's what the offseason is for. And so at that point it has always been about maintenance and making sure that you're feeling right for Sunday. So, once the season comes I think it'll be business as usual."

Eye Candy

Burrow seems to like the changes the Bengals have made on offense—both from a playbook standpoint and the players they added to their roster.

After signing guys like Mike Gesicki and Zack Moss in free agency, Burrow thinks this offense is going to make life much harder on opposing defenses.

"We will be able to do a lot more with personnel groupings, putting different people in different spots in and doing a lot of different things, as far as eye candy and making teams adjust their personnel based on ours," Burrow said. "I think the next couple months throughout training camp will kind of iron all that out and coaches will go back and self-scout for the next month after this and kind of iron that out, but I'm excited to kind of dive into that world."

Becoming more multiple on offense was a priority this offseason. Generating explosive plays was also high on the priority list. Burrow is a believer in what they've done and clearly thinks they're going to take a big step forward on offense.

Check out Burrow's entire news conference here.

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James Rapien


James Rapien covers the Bengals for Sports Illustrated's and is one-half of the Locked on Bengals Podcast. He's also the co-owner/creator of Cincinnati Bengals Talk on YouTube. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Cincinnati and has spent the majority of his professional career in the Queen City. Rapien previously covered the Cavaliers and Indians in Cleveland. He has a background in radio, which includes stops at 700 WLW, ESPN 1530 and 92.3 The Fan. He loves a good trade rumor and uses copious amounts of hot sauce on his food. Cincinnati chili is his go-to meal, followed by gallons of mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. When he isn't working or eating, he's probably walking his dog Finley or spending time with family.