The Cincinnati Bengals have spent a considerable period of time being one of the worse teams in the NFL. in 2019, they managed to be bad enough to have the first-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which netted them the opportunity to draft quarterback Joe Burrow out of LSU, regarded as one of the cleanest prospects in a number of years.
In spite of the fact that there was no in-person offseason until training camp, and there were no exhibition games, Burrow was a day-one starter, though he only started 10 games before suffering a torn ACL that would put is rookie year to a premature end.
Prior to the injury, he went 264-for-404, throwing for 2688 yards with 13 touchdown passes to only five interceptions. This was in spite of the fact that he was sacked 32 times and faced pressure on very nearly a quarter of all of his dropbacks. And yet he also had one of the quicker releases in the league.
Burrow had surgery to repair his injury about three months ago. Since then, the team had not provided much of an update on his status until head coach Zac Taylor took the opportunity to address the media last week.
“I know that he’s on pace to do all the things that we were hoping he’d do”, he said, regarding the young quarterback’s approach to his rehab work. This was similar to comments that director of player personnel Duke Tobin also made earlier in the week.
“The good news is with Joe, what I’ve seen around here is he’s attacking it full speed and looks great and so it’s been very positive seeing him fight back”, he would say. “It looks very positive for the future and for this coming season for Joe”.
The Bengals only won two of Burrow’s 10 starts (along with one tie), but the eye test in watching him play was much more favorable to his performance than was his record, or even his statistical output. But the Bengals still need to help him out.
He doesn’t have a lot around him, although 2020 rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins looks as though he is going to be a significant asset. But it is the offensive line that is in most need of improvement, and it’s anticipated that Cincinnati, like Cleveland last year, will tackle this area this offseason.
That would probably be a good idea considering how crucial Burrow is to their future over the better part of the next two decades if they do this right. He is already coming off of a major knee injury, so ideally, you want to keep him standing.