Cincinnati Bengals’ star receiver Tyler Boyd defended his new quarterback, Joe Burrow, against criticism from Bill Polian.
The football world seems fairly evenly split over the prospect of Joe Burrow’s rookie campaign with the Cincinnati Bengals. There are those that believe his talent, preparation, and mentality will be enough to overcome the strenuous circumstances from this offseason, allowing him to have a successful year.
On the other hand, there is a crowd that thinks the obstacles presented by the pandemic will be too much to overcome, resulting in a disappointing first year for the reigning Heisman.
Former league executive Bill Polian belongs to the second group. In an appearance on Adam Schefter’s podcast, he had this prediction for Burrow’s first year in stripes,
"“He’s (Burrow) gonna struggle. He’s so far behind now… The best way to learn how to play football is to play football. And we played football in training camp – and in OTAs to a certain extent – and we’re not doing that this year.”"
While there’s no denying that Polian brings up a good point, the lack of a preseason will do nothing but hurt Burrow, his recent track record of predicting young signal-caller’s success isn’t great. After all, he suggested that Lamar Jackson move to wide receiver rather than remain behind center. We all know how that situation turned out.
Tyler Boyd defends Joe Burrow
If you ask Tyler Boyd, Polian is way off in his evaluation of the Bengals’ face of the franchise. When presented with the Burrow criticism, he sent out this tweet in support of his new quarterback.
The duo has yet to take a single snap together, or even meet in person, for that matter, but that didn’t stop Boyd from defending Burrow. For the orange and black faithful, that has to be a great sign.
Speaking of great signs, news out of Cincinnati’s camp is that Burrow is way ahead on learning the playbook. Earlier this offseason, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan detailed experiences with the LSU product where he had to reign him in because he was further ahead than the rest of the team.
Anecdotes like the one above suggest it’s safe to assume that Burrow isn’t “so far behind”, as Polian suggests.
While there has undoubtedly been a strain on Burrow’s preparation, there’s still time to get him ready for the season. Cincinnati is beginning to gear up for training camp. There, Burrow will have roughly a month to scrimmage against a professional level defense, utilizing a playbook he already seems to have down.
Of course, fans will have to wait until the games actually begin to find out if Polian is correct in his prediction, but recent history would suggest it’s unwise to bet against Burrow.