As the Bengals are once again heating up at the right time, Callahan told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow, who is already an NFL superstar, has matured a lot this season.
Callahan said Burrow is starting to understand what it takes to play quarterback in the NFL.
“JOE’S REALLY GROWN AND MATURED AS A QUARTERBACK, AS CRAZY AS THAT SOUNDS, GIVEN HOW GOOD HE ALREADY WAS,” BENGALS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BRIAN CALLAHAN TOLD ME THIS WEEK. “JUST HIS UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT MEANS TO PLAY QUARTERBACK IN THIS LEAGUE, THAT EVERY WEEK REQUIRES SOMETHING DIFFERENT OF YOU. HE’S DONE A REALLY GOOD JOB OF GETTING HIS TEAMMATES TO TRUST THAT HE KNOWS THAT, AND OF LEARNING HOW TO PLAY SMART AND STILL BE AGGRESSIVE. KNOWING IT’S TIME TO GET THE BALL OUT OF YOUR HAND INSTEAD OF TAKING A SACK. HIS GROWTH HAS BEEN REALLY, REALLY FUN TO SEE.”
Burrow is one of the best players in the NFL. And he’s nowhere close to his ceiling yet…at least not based on those comments from Callahan about Burrow’s continued improvement.
And that should be a scary thought for the rest of the AFC.
It really feels like Burrow is about to go on a Tom Brady-like run of dominance in the NFL.
Things haven’t gone perfectly for Burrow and the Bengals since 2020 — there have been some rough early-season losses. But when the games really count late in the season, Burrow has been able to lead the franchise to some massive wins.
Just think about this — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is widely regarded as the best quarterback in the NFL.
And Burrow is 3-0 against him (including Cincy’s win against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game last season).
Burrow is still ascending in the NFL. He’s still learning how to be elite in every way. The fact that he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet should be exciting to Bengals fans.
The Mahomes/Burrow/Josh Allen/Justin Herbert battles are going to be fun to watch for the next decade-plus. And it might be Burrow that ends up with the most bragging rights from that group of elite signal callers.