Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner recently gave the Cincinnati Bengals and their fans some words of wisdom in regard to Joe Burrow.
In a short video clip from the Cincinnati Bengals’ YouTube channel, which can be found here, Kurt Warner outlined what would make for a successful debut season in stripes for top overall draft pick, Joe Burrow. The main take away is that the LSU product shouldn’t be judged on his statistics or win-loss ratio, but rather his consistency and ability to make the Bengals competitive in each contest.
Terms like “franchise savior” are being attached to Burrow and some optimistic fans are talking playoffs in 2020, despite last year’s 2-14 record. Anything could happen, but what Warner lays out is far more realistic.
The path paved before Burrow
Warner was undrafted and nobody knew who he was until he took the league by storm in 1999. He did not have the pressure of expectation on him the way Burrow does. Even so, he is absolutely right that Burrow cannot be judged on stats alone, especially as a rookie.
Greatness doesn’t always show itself in rookie quarterbacks. John Elway once lined up behind guard while throwing twice as many interceptions as touchdown passes. Peyton Manning’s Colts went 3-13, but the talent was obvious.
Manning set the rookie record for single-season touchdown passes. Elway led Denver to a road comeback win in Baltimore against the franchise he refused to play for. Both guys took their lumps like pros and put together Hall of Fame careers.
The Bengals‘ front office did an admirable job of upgrading the talent around Burrow as best they could in one offseason. Still, they had the number one pick for a reason. Burrow was surrounded by elite talent last year at LSU. He will not have that luxury to start his NFL career. Thus, a rough start like the ones in the last paragraph is a real possibility.
Knowing that, Warner’s remarks are important to remember once the season starts. If Burrow simply makes smart decisions on and off the field, makes the team more competitive, and improves over the course of the season, then fans have reason to feel good about the long term future of Bengals football.