The Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff constantly raved about Joe Burrow's mental preparedness during offseason Zoom meetings. Now that the Bengals are on the practice field, it's time for the rookie quarterback's teammates to join the chorus.
"I think he knows his stuff. He's making the appropriate reads and checks," veteran tight end C.J. Uzomah said of Burrow, via the team's official website. "He's going to be one of the boys for sure. He has a certain confidence in himself and you can tell he has the confidence in us to do what we need to do. I like him so far. I like what he brings to the table. That poise that he has. The moxie that he has is nice."
The cooing didn't end with Uzomah.
"He can definitely spin it," receiver Alex Erickson added. "Arm talent? That stuff? Not going to be an issue."
The veteran wideout noted Burrow's confidence coming in and out of the huddle, something he wasn't required to do while winning the Heisman Trophy at LSU.
"The first thing with a lot of the rookies, especially guys that go from a system where they're not in a huddle, they're yelling out plays. He's got command in the huddle," Erickson said. "You can tell he's really worked hard at it in the offseason.
"It sounds like a little thing, but that stuff really matters. It makes a big difference when the quarterback says the play, you get a good break and it sets a tempo for the whole play."
Several veterans noted that Burrow wasn't afraid to correct teammate's errors or suggest tweaks to routes and the like. That kind of command is key for a rookie who hasn't had an offseason and will be tossed into the fire come Week 1.
"He has that confidence about him, but he's not overboard," Erickson said. "He carries himself like he knows he belongs. As he should. He earned the right to be the No. 1 pick. He's earned the right to be the face of the franchise. But he has a rookie's approach. He has to earn the respect of his teammates. He's doing that one day at a time."
We haven't heard a negative word about Burrow this offseason. The hope in Cincinnati is that the rookie continues to shine once the pads come on and the games begin to matter.