CINCINNATI — Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had a great rookie year before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 11 against Washington.
He completed 65.3% of his passes for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 games.
From a questionable coaching staff, to a poor offensive line and a struggling defense—Burrow hid a lot of the Bengals' flaws.
The 24-year-old underwent successful left knee reconstruction surgery last month. He's expected to make a full recovery and hopeful that he'll return before the start of the 2021 season.
Despite a successful year, Burrow knows he has plenty to improve on this offseason.
"I had some pretty tough games—Pittsburgh, Baltimore come to mind. Going into next year I need to be more consistent in those big games," Burrow said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. "I think for the most part I played well. I was really efficient, but there’s still some things that obviously need to be corrected. I wasn’t great with the deep ball, which I was pretty disappointed in because I’ve always been pretty good at that. So that’s an emphasis for me going into this offseason is hitting those big plays and creating outside the offense and creating those big plays on my own.”
It'll be up to the Bengals to continue to add pieces around their franchise quarterback. They could use multiple quality offensive linemen and another weapon or two on offense.
Burrow never blamed that talent around him during the season. He did mention one specific play that he learned a lot from. It happened in one of the Bengals' worst losses of the season.
Cincinnati built a 21-0 first quarter lead over Indianapolis just to lose 31-27. Burrow threw an interception in the fourth quarter to end the game.
"The last play of the game we were in a two-minute drill. The MIKE linebacker and the SAM linebacker walk up on the ball. We're in a 3x1 formation. I had never seen that in my life," Burrow said. "They just had two guys covering three. I'm like 'what is going on, what is this defense?' They're in a single high shell, the safety comes down into a quarters shell and they just play two over three to the field and I'm watching film, I ended up throwing a pick in the two-minute drill to lose the game. And I'm watching film like, 'I could've just checked to this play. They don't have enough people over there.' And so it was games like that, plays like that through my first year were big-time learning experiences for me and I think are going to help me a lot going forward."
Burrow was a fast learner in training camp. He picked up the Bengals' playbook quickly. It sounds like he's going to learn from his rookie mistakes, which is crucial since he's going to be rehabbing for most of the offseason.
Watch the entire interview below. For more on the Bengals, including the latest NFL news, go here!