Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is saying all the right things to the media in the wake of his team’s disappointing 2-3 start to the season, but I’m not sure anyone believes him.
And to be honest, they probably shouldn’t. The Bengals’ biggest issue so far this season has been an inability to find offensive success against soft coverages.
Teams have been taking away Cincinnati’s downfield shots — the element that made the Bengals’ offense so dangerous last season. And for whatever reason, Cincinnati hasn’t been able to effectively adjust to the different looks they’re getting from defenses.
The blame, unsurprisingly, is falling on the Bengals’ playcalling. And I think that’s fair. If teams are going to play deep zone coverages, then the Bengals have to run the ball and convert on underneath passing routes.
But Cincy hasn’t done that. Burrow was asked this week about playcalling and the vibe in the facility.
“I think that’s pretty unique to this place,” said Burrow. “I think that’s what makes everyone loves being here. There’s no egos from me to our coaching staff to Zac, to Brian, to Pitch, to our receivers. It’s a collaborative effort that everyone puts in so everyone can take ownership.”
Joe Burrow knows failed play calls open door from criticism. Bengals pic.twitter.com/m14QTkfeNI
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) October 12, 2022
Burrow also said if players execute then the play calls will work, which isn’t necessarily always true.
That’s a great response from Burrow. And as a young quarterback who is only in his third season, there’s really not much more he should say publicly amid the Bengals’ struggles.
But I’m guessing no one believes him. There has to be some frustration inside the facility with the play-calling process.
What Cincinnati is doing isn’t working. And this isn’t a situation where they need to stay the course. No, they need to change things dramatically or they’ll be watching the playoffs from home later this winter.
I think Burrow knows that. And I’m guessing he feels that urgency to some extent.
He’s one of the smartest quarterbacks I’ve seen come into the league since Peyton Manning. Burrow knows how to attack defenses — we’ve seen that in the moments when his headset has died and he’s had to call the plays at the line himself.
That’s why it wouldn’t surprise me if some of his ideas are getting suppressed.
Things have to change in Cincinnati.
Bengals fans should hope that Burrow is speaking up in the locker room and saying something different than what he’s saying publicly.
Otherwise, I’m not sure this will get fixed this season.
And that would be a major disappointment for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations this season.