Joe Burrow made one big mistake in hot start to Bengals camp, and immediately sought to rectify it

Eric Edholm
·4 mins read

Expectations understandably are high for No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow at Cincinnati Bengals camp. And to date, the reports on his performance in the early going have been mostly terrific.

Not mistake-free, mind you — but even on his poor plays, Burrow seems to be earning respect from the veterans in camp.

On Thursday, Burrow threw what was described by The Athletic as a bad interception, with Bengals linebacker Josh Bynes reportedly able to step in front of the pass easily and pick it off.

It might have been chalked up to a typical rookie mistake. But it’s what happened afterward that seemed to surprise Bynes.

Burrow approached the veteran Bynes to ask where he went wrong as a quarterback. Bynes was later asked if that sort of thing was common coming from a rookie QB.

“I don’t think I’ve had a rookie quarterback come up to me,” Bynes said. “Maybe I had a few vets here and there. Definitely not a rookie quarterback.

“But you can tell he’s hungry and wants to get better. That’s what I like about him. I think everybody is knowing that, especially on offense. They’re gravitating towards him because right now he has to lead the way for this offense and we’re looking forward to it.”

Then Bynes threw the rook another bone.

“He’s definitely got — an old term — dog in him,” Bynes said.

And after that pick, Burrow reportedly bit back. Hard, it seems.

Bengals rookie Joe Burrow threw a pick in camp, and immediately tracked down the linebacker who made it and asked him what went wrong on the play. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Bengals rookie Joe Burrow threw a pick in camp, and immediately tracked down the linebacker who made it and asked him what went wrong on the play. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

After mostly attacking the short and middle parts of the field leading up to the INT, Burrow tested the defense deep — and had success. With three of his leading receivers (A.J. Green, 2020 second-rounder Tee Higgins and John Ross) missing practice, Burrow stung the defense with long balls to Tyler Boyd and Mike Thomas.

Later, in 7-on-7 work, Burrow hit C.J. Uzomah on a great ball down the seam. Then in red-zone work, Burrow was impressive again, reportedly connecting with Auden Tate on a beautiful ball in the end zone where only Tate could catch it.

“He was probably pissed,” Bynes said.

Burrow’s Friday performance was even better

On Friday, Burrow reportedly stayed hot.

Even with Green, Higgins and Ross remaining out, and Boyd and Joe Mixon playing sparingly, Burrow started out 6-for-6 passing in full-team work and ended up hitting on nine of his first 10 passes.

The one incompletion was reportedly Burrow’s worst throw of the day, a miss high to Uzomah. But on the very next throw, Burrow hit Tate for a TD.

In five drives for the offense starting at the defense’s 30-yard line, Burrow led five scoring drives — three touchdowns and two field goals. Doing so without the majority of his expected playmakers on the field, even if it’s only a training camp scrimmage, makes it even more impressive.

What we saw from Burrow in college is starting to show up now in Cincinnati. He won over LSU coaches and fans by arriving in the summer of 2018 and winning the starting job in three weeks’ time, despite not knowing all of his teammates’ names when camp started.

And in 2019, he took his game to a nearly nuclear level, throwing for 60 touchdowns, winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the Tigers to a national title.

With all the roadblocks that the pandemic-shortened offseason have provided, Burrow might just be the perfect guy to lead the Bengals’ path back to respectability. Even his interceptions seem to have a silver lining to them.

More from Yahoo Sports:

Shop Bengals gear on BreakingT

Yahoo Sports is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability is subject to change.