Having a condensed offseason is going to make it hard for every rookie this season (assuming there’s a season), but for rookie quarterbacks, there’s clearly not enough time to get them comfortable.
Not all of them have the luxury to wait, either.
Bengals great Ken Anderson said during a podcast with the Cincinnati Enquirer that throwing top overall pick Joe Burrow onto the field from the start of camp (whenever that is) is the only play.
“It’s the only move. Let’s get him out there. Let’s get him going,” Anderson said. “Let’s give him as many reps as they can. . . .
“Any quarterback will tell you that your performance is directly related to the other 10 guys that you have on the field with you. I think you have to be patient with Joe. He can’t do it all by himself. Everybody is going to have to do their part. I think the Bengals are going and growing in the right direction. I like the philosophy and the leadership Zac Taylor is showing. The big thing I’m looking for this year is I want to see the signs of improvement.”
Anderson didn’t become the Bengals full-time starter until his second season, and he had the benefit of Bill Walsh as his quarterbacks coach.
But he was encouraged by the work done putting skill position talent around Burrow, and likes the job done so far by Taylor.
“I’m encouraged with the outside weapons,” Anderson said. “You have A.J. Green back this year, you have a running game with Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard. We drafted Tee Higgins and spent a lot of money on the defensive side of the football. The defense will be better, and the Bengals special teams are always solid. . . .
“I think the Bengals have a bright young staff. I think they will adapt to him and a lot of the things he did in college. There’s a transition there. The Bengals like three wide receivers and they’ll be in shotgun. That’s a lot of the stuff he did in college. From an offensive standpoint, I think it’ll be a smooth transition.”
Whether anything about this offseason will be smooth, there’s little doubt it’s Burrow’s team from Day One.