Joe Burrow's 'intense' work ethic is rubbing off on his Bengals teammates

James Rapien

CINCINNATI — Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan is in a unique situation, as is Zac Taylor and the rest of the coaching staff. They're trying to get rookie quarterback Joe Burrow ready for the regular season. 

They didn't have the luxury of OTA's or minicamps. They don't get to play four preseason games. Instead, Burrow must get ready for the season on the fly. He learned the playbook virtually and finally got to throw to A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd earlier this week.

The coronavirus pandemic may have derailed a normal offseason, but the Bengals coaching staff doesn't think it's going to get in the way of Burrow having a successful rookie seasons. 

"A lot of guys made comments the other day about him. He just has a great feel for what we are trying to do," Callahan said. "His offseason work was outstanding. He worked really hard. I think that part gets skipped over a little bit."

Burrow showed up to camp in great shape both mentally and physically. Adjusting to life in the NFL is hard for any rookie, especially a quarterback that is going to start on day one. 

"He has not proven that he’s needed anymore time to study and learn than anybody else that I’ve been around. We kind of throw it all at him," Callahan said. "There are a lot of philosophies with that. Sometimes you throw a lot at a guy and see what sticks and what doesn’t. You kind of adjust from there and narrow it down as you get closer to game time. We’ve had so much time to meet virtually and non-virtually so far, that really the installation hasn’t been an issue at all."

The Bengals' first padded practice is on Aug. 17. They can have up to 14 padded practices during camp. 

The team is banking on Burrow to get his timing down with his wide receivers over the next few weeks. That part is crucial to any success the Bengals could potentially have early in the season.

"It’s really getting up to speed physically and working those things," Callahan said. The timing, being around those guys and seeing how they run routes, how things work live versus a defense as opposed to sitting in a classroom talking about it. We haven’t pulled back one bit and he’s handled everything we’ve thrown at him. It’s been really encouraging and exciting in that regard."

Burrow threw to Ross before the draft and was able to link up with Tee Higgins, Auden Tate and Drew Sample before training camp started. 

Every throw and rep is important, as the regular season gets closer. 

"He’s such an intense worker. He’s put himself in position to know what to do and how to do it," Callahan said. "That has rubbed off on his teammates and obviously his presentation and how he goes about his business has been everything we had thought it would be."

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Gotta love the rookies that step right in and take on a leadership role!