The Cincinnati Bengals deserve a chance with Joe Burrow
Many outside of the Cincinnati Bengals community believe the Bengals are not good enough to deserve a chance with LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Let’s discuss why that perception is unfair, unfounded and wrong.
The Cincinnati Bengals finished the 2019 season with a 2-14 record, earning them the first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow just wrapped up his Heisman winning senior year by defeating Clemson for the CFP national title. Considered by most as the top QB prospect and even top overall prospect by some, they seem like a match made in heaven, right?
Well, not according to some. Many people, whether it be through social media or some national media personalities, believe that the Cincinnati Bengals are not worthy of having a quarterback of Joe Burrow’s talent. Many believe that his talent, as well as his career, will be wasted away in Cincinnati. Now, while I realize there is a narrative for those that are outside of the organization to lead one to believe this to be true, I find it to be unfair.
Some may ask, how can you defend this franchise with their “history?” Here is what I would say to that. No franchise in sports comes out of the gate legendary and great, they build and eventually become that. For some, it takes years and even decades to reach that lofty status, and often it starts with that “one” transcendent player capable of changing a franchise.
Let me ask this question, How great were the Patriots before Tom Brady? Sure, they had a couple of Super Bowl appearances, but guess what, so have the Bengals. How long did the Packers drought last before Brett Favre? How great were the 49ers before Joe Montana? The Steelers were laughable, before Terry Bradshaw. There was a long time between Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning.
Disclaimer, we don’t know if Joe Burrow is gonna reach the same level of greatness as these legendary players mentioned. All we know right now is that he shows the characteristics and potential to be transcendent. It will be many years before we know if he turns out to be. But he certainly has the chance to, and the Bengals as well as their fans, just like any other NFL team, deserves the chance to see if he can be that for them.
The Bengals have struggled the last few years, that cannot be argued. However, It wasn’t that long ago when Cincinnati was in the midst of a five consecutive year run of playoff appearances. Many people, including some national media, believed the Bengals were one of the better run franchises in the league. Why? Because they were hitting on draft picks and had one of the better rosters in the NFL.
Is there a crystal ball that says that they can’t do that again? Of course not. Success in the NFL is all about the right circumstances and opportunities. Honestly, it also involves a little luck. Maybe the Bengals have finally had a little come their way, maybe not, but they deserve the chance to find out.
Also, the Bengals are not the career killers they are perceived to be. Carson Palmer was hardly a bust. He had two Pro Bowl appearances and was one the most respected quarterbacks of his generation. Andy Dalton has had a great career, you can even argue that he overachieved. That is not a knock on Dalton, he was a second-round pick that no one would have ever guessed could win at the level he did, especially “in Cincinnati”. For a period of time, he proved them wrong.
Ken Anderson, as well as Boomer Esiason both, had stellar careers. You could even argue Hall of Fame worthy. The Bengals are not a franchise without some success, just a team without recent success. Burrow can help change that, and possibly take it to another level. But, he can’t do it alone.
Cincinnati has an obligation to give him every opportunity to be successful. They must do everything in their power to put the pieces around him to be just that. However, they have had championship-level rosters before, regardless of how those outside of this organization like to believe otherwise. They can do it again.
Lets close by saying that Joe Burrow is not a member of the Cincinnati Bengals yet, but should be. If he does end up donning the stripes lets not automatically ascend him to franchise savior right off the bat. Let’s give the kid a chance to grow and see what he can do for his “hometown” team. That being said, Burrow, the fans, city, and organization at least deserve the chance.