Joe Burrow lived up to his “Joe Cool” moniker during his first public interview session since Super Bowl LVI. The Bengals’ 25-year-old quarterback showed off his quick whit when asked about how much he expects the Bengals’ offense to change in 2022.
“I think we’re going to completely overhaul the offense,” Burrow joked. “We’re going to maybe run the Wing-T a little bit. Maybe our division can start watching Georgia Tech or something.”
Burrow acknowledged that he expects some changes to Cincinnati’s offense moving forward (more on that later). He also offered some insight into the play that seemingly everyone was talking about in the aftermath of the Bengals’ 23-20 loss to the Rams in Super Bowl LVI. Perhaps the most viral play from the Super Bowl the was the image of Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase open downfield after Jalen Ramsey had slipped on Cincinnati’s final offensive play. Instead of resulting in a potential game-winning score, the game ended with Burrow throwing an incomplete pass after being corralled by Aaron Donald.
“I checked to that go route,” Burrow said. “I was anticipating throwing it, just didn’t quite have the time. Like I said, we’ve put this behind us. We lost, we had a great year, we’re going forward.”
The play symbolized the Bengals’ Achilles heel last season. Along with being hounded by the Rams’ pass-rushers in the Super Bowl, Burrow was sacked a whopping nine times three weeks earlier in the Bengals’ win over the Titans in the divisional round. Including the playoffs, Burrow sustained 70 sacks during the 2021 season.
Cincinnati used free agency to rebuild its offensive line, signing veterans Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La’el Collins. Burrow acknowledged that he did put out a spread when Collins came to Cincinnati during his free agent visit.
“We just had some snacks,” Burrow said with a smile. “That’s something that I want to do every year. Make sure the guys we’re looking to bring in feel at home in Cincinnati and with the team. That’s the culture that we’re building in the locker room. We’re really close as a team. … I just want to kind of portray that to the guys that are thinking about coming here and who we want to sign.”
Burrow lauded the team’s new linemen, players he feels will give the offense the ability to do more things than in recent seasons.
“They’ve been great so far. Really taking ownership of what they need to do to understand the offense,” Burrow said of his new teammates on the offensive line. “Coming out here and giving everything they have during the OTAs that we’ve having. They’ve been great in the weight room, in the locker room. They’ve been everything that we’ve wanted.”
Burrow had strayed away from asking Karras and Cappa — who won Super Bowls with Tom Brady in New England and Tampa, respectively — too much about the seven-time Super Bowl champion.
“I try to take things here and there from different people, but I’m really focused on refining my routine and everything that I do to be the best me,” Burrow said. “And I don’t think I can take something that makes Tom Brady great that might not make Joe Burrow great.”
As far as his routine is concerned, Burrow said he only gave himself a week off before resuming his workout routine following the Super Bowl. He watched the Super Bowl the following day.
“I treated it like any other loss,” Burrow said. “I went through that week, watched the film, saw where I could get better, saw the things that we did well, and then I moved on, put it behind me. We’re onto the 2022 season.”
Talking about the 2022 season, Burrow hopes the Bengals’ offense can be “more refined, more technical” moving forward, particularly at the start of the season. Through 13 games last season, Cincinnati was 7-6 and had committed 21 turnovers. The Bengals committed just two turnovers during the season’s final eight games that included their entire postseason run.
“I think toward the end of last year, I think we started getting respect for our playmakers,” Burrow said. “Teams completely changed the way that they played us. I think that will just be more of the same going forward for the next five, 10 years. However long we have those guys on the outside. Hopefully, my entire career.”
Burrow expects the offense to have some new wrinkles added in 2022. That being said, Burrow believes that coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan won’t stray away from what made Cincinnati’s offense hum last year.
“I’m going into it expecting that we can kind of open it up a little bit,” Burrow said, “maybe throw some things in that we weren’t able to do last year and the year before. We have a really good core group of plays that we know really well, so we’re not going to abandon that.”
As he and his teammates prepare for a new season, Burrow doesn’t feel that the Bengals are starting from scratch. He said that the culture that has been growing within the locker room over the past several years continues to grow. Burrow is also hoping to use last year’s playoff experience as a valuable learning tool moving forward.
“We have the experience now,” Burrow said. “Going into it last year, we knew we were good, but going into the playoffs, we knew we could win, but we weren’t really sure what it took. We just kind of went out there and played really hard and together as a team, and it worked out.
“Now, we know what it takes. We have that experience in our back pocket going forward.”