Some might think it’s a bit premature to suggest that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is already on track to have a Hall of Fame career.
I’m not one of those people who think that.
I’ve seen enough from Burrow already — including what he accomplished at LSU — to feel confident that we’re seeing the start of an extremely special career.
Burrow’s physical abilities are good, but not necessarily elite. He’s not the fastest quarterback on the field. And he doesn’t have the strongest arm in the NFL. What truly makes Burrow elite is his ability to lead. Players respond to him. They’re eager to follow.
Part of that is because of the confidence that Burrow routinely displays.
For example, a recent comment from Burrow to NBC Sports’ Chris Simms shows how the former Heisman Trophy winner exudes confidence even in the face of the most pressure-riddled situations.
“That’s when I get in my zone,” said Burrow of pressure-filled situations. “That’s when everything kind of closes in and you’re more intensely focused than you ever are the rest of the time. It just feels different when those big moments at the end of the game come.”
That’s absolutely the best mindset a quarterback can have. Burrow isn’t scared of big moments. He doesn’t have added anxiety in those moments. In fact, that’s when he’s at his calmest because he can “play freely” thanks to the confidence he has in his preparation.
Now, a lot of quarterbacks might say the same thing as Burrow — I don’t think any quarterback will ever admit they get nervous in the face of pressure. But when Burrow says it, it just feels different. I believe him. It doesn’t sound like he’s putting on a show for the cameras and trying to say the right things. He’s just being authentic — the only way he knows how to be.
Burrow has the traits that most Hall of Fame quarterbacks have. And as long as he stays healthy, I feel pretty confident he’ll be celebrated in Canton one day.
Featured image via Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports