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Joe Burrow and the rest of the Bengals' rookies to meet with veterans for first time

The Bengals' offseason continues on Monday, as veterans and rookies get to meet for the first time

The Bengals have spent most of the offseason remaking a roster that went 2-14 last season. 

The coaching staff has met with most of the veterans, including the players they signed in free agency, over the past few weeks. The meetings aren't mandatory, but they help the coaches install plays and schemes. 

Normally these meetings would take place in-person at Paul Brown Stadium, but they're being held virtually due to the NFL's COVID-19 policy. 

"The players have been very engaged — as much as I could have hoped," head coach Zac Taylor said last week. "We break up a lot into smaller meeting groups just because I think the bigger numbers you have all facing one screen. We try to keep our team meetings very brief because I do understand what it’s like if I’m the one watching a speaker for 40 minutes a time."

The coaching staff was also allowed to meet virtually with the rookies for an orientation for up to five hours from May 1-3. 

Monday will be the first time the rookies and the veterans are allowed to be in the same meetings. 

"We get a chance to get the whole group together and start to introduce these rookies," Taylor said. "The challenge that we’re trying to be creative in solving is if our rookies aren’t able to see our veterans until May 18 or June 1 or training camp, we gotta find a way to get our veteran leaders in front our rookies so the first time they see them isn’t months down the road. So that’s something we’ve really challenged our staff with and they’ve been creative with their responses.”

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Monday is an important day. It'll be the first time rookie quarterback Joe Burrow interacts with some of his teammates. 

He's already gotten to know most of them. From exchanging messages with  A.J. Green about future workouts, to throwing to John Ross in California before the draft — Burrow has done a good job of connecting with his new teammates. 

That process continues Monday. It'll be different than anyone could've imagined, but it's just as important. 

“They’ve certainly heard about him. Seen what he did at LSU. You still have to show up and earn that through work," Taylor said when asked about Burrow becoming a team leader. "Sometimes it’s not necessarily opening your mouth and trying to lead that way, it’s just leading through doing what you’re supposed to do and accomplishing that. And then some guys, quicker than others can start to be more of a vocal leader and get guys going."

Monday's meeting isn't mandatory, which means veterans like Joe Mixon or Green may not attend. Even if that's the case, Burrow will be meeting a lot of his teammates for the first time. 

"It's been really efficient," Taylor said of the meetings. It is unfortunate you don't get the physical reps on the field. That is something every team would like to have, but no other teams have it so we're just going to make the most of this virtual opportunity."