Joe Burrow was a huge success story coming out of LSU, so it was no surprise when the Bengals took him first overall in the 2020 draft. However, the quarterback quickly learned the difference between a good college team and a bad NFL team. Burrow has already been hit many times. While gruesome, the sight is normal for one fan in particular: Burrow’s mother.
Joe Burrow taking hits
Burrow has played football since he was a child. He spent five years in the NCAA with two different schools. While he didn’t see the field during his first year, he likely experienced many training hits. For a quarterback who was the focal point to one of the best football programs in the country in 2019, these hits were just part of a game.
Even for a QB, Burrow’s usage rate his final year at school was so high that his body likely took some extra punishment. While he had nearly 5,700 passing yards and sixty touchdowns, nothing comes easy in the world of football. Now in the NFL, the defenders are only bigger, and the spotlight is only brighter. As he adjusts, the hits will keep on coming.
Joe goes pro
Burrow’s historic season sent his expectations sky-high. Unfortunately, he went to a Bengals team known for two things: losing and mismanagement. With a weak offensive line, Burrow is getting hammered at a shocking rate. His individual numbers are not disastrous, but what could be disastrous is the amount of abuse that he’s taking.
Burrow has been sacked 22 times through five games. In a league where one play can change a career, this should be concerning to both the QB and Bengals. No one expected Burrow to turn around the historically mediocre Bengals, but they didn’t expect this much punishment. One person who may have expected it, however, was Burrow’s mom.
Burrow discusses his mom
Burrow was asked about all the sacks he took in the early weeks of the season. With his mother out there cheering him on, he spoke about the ways that this affects her.
“You know, she doesn’t like them,” Burrow told Pro Football Talk. “But that’s how I play. She’s been watching it since I was in third grade. I can take a hit or two. She’s gotten used to it … I mean I go out there, lift and practice and feel fine,” Burrow said. “So, you know, obviously there’s a little treatment, a little massage here and there. My body feels great.”
Despite just one win and a tie in his first few weeks, Burrow is already embracing the situation that the Bengals put him in. While he has the right to expect more from his line, the rookie quarterback blames no one but himself for his struggles. Luckily, he has a support system that not only cheers him on through his struggles but helped make him introspective enough to acknowledge his own faults.
“After I threw that interception Week One,” Burrow said, “that stupid, I don’t know what I was thinking, just gave the ball to Melvin Ingram, and after that I was kind of like, ‘Joe what are you doing? You know you’re better than this.’ So ever since then I think I’ve been playing really good football.”
For the Bengals to get the most out of Burrow, they have to do a good job protecting him. To Burrow’s credit, he has played about as well as he could given all the circumstances. However, if the team sees him as a long-term fit, they need to make sure his body doesn’t break before he’s able to reach his potential.