Mon, 21 Jun 2021

Burrow 'very excited' about chance to go No. 1

Field Level Media
26 Feb 2020, 01:25 GMT+10

INDIANAPOLIS -- LSU quarterback Joe Burrow hopes to be on to Cincinnati.

The presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Burrow is aiming for the trifecta as Heisman Trophy winner, national champion and first pick in the draft in the span of five months.

Burrow quickly set the recordstraight on his preferred destination after "noise" he was averse to going home to play for the Bengals. Cincinnati owns the top pick in April's draft.

"If it works out with the Bengals I'd be very excited let's just say that," Burrow said at the Indianapolis Convention Center adjacent to Lucas Oil Stadium.

"The only thing I said is I just didn't want to be presumptuous with that pick. They might not pick me, might want someone else. Nothing (negative) like that came from me.

"I wouldn't say there's any concerns. I want to learn a lot about all of these teams. I think we're meeting with the Bengals in a couple days. In the late interviews you just talk ball."

Burrow took over the room in his 20-minute press conference and said he is still playing catch-up after a college season that went five weeks later than the Southeastern Conference championship game. For that reason, Burrow will spend the week on the meet and greet circuit. He has formal interviews scheduled Wednesday and Thursday -- including a date with Zac Taylor and the Bengals -- and informal conversations equated to speed dating in a hotel lobby in between.

"We played a month longer than everyone else. The other guys had a month more training," Burrow said. "I didn't know if I'd have a chance to put my best foot forward here. I'm looking forward to just improving my game, better myself."

Burrow shrugged off his hand size -- 9 inches pinkie to thumb in a fully expanded high-five position -- and said that measurement would only be a factor if he had a history of fumbling. He also pointed out his Midwest roots -- the Dakotas and Ohio -- trained him for playing anywhere.

With Burrow idle this week and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa (hip surgery) not participating in workouts, Oregon's Justin Herbert plans to jump in with both feet.

"I want to show I'm a competitor, make the most of the opportunity," said Herbert, who returned for a fourth season with the Ducks rather than enter the 2019 draft.

Confidence has been cited as a positive and negative for Burrow. He defended his moxie and said any player in this position better not be light-footing their way into the pro ranks.

"The thing about the confidence -- it starts in preparation. I feel like I know what's going to happen on Saturdays before it happens. That's preparation," he said. "Hopefully I can carry that over to Sundays with the help of players and coaches."

Look back no further than 2018 No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield. He entered the combine answering questions about his height and hands, then broke a rookie record for TD passes.

"I really admire Baker's mentality. You know the team picking No. 1 is there for a reason," Burrow said. "As I said, I prepare better than anyone else. My physical traits don't compare to some of these guys so I have to be smarter and more prepared."

Preparation for his breakout, award-winning season began at this time last year. Burrow and passing game coordinator Joe Brady constructed the LSU offense from the ground up prior to the 2019 season.

Part of the process was studious review of the footwork and release of Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Burrow said he's now met Brees "a couple of times," most recently at the national championship game.

"I always watch Drew Brees. I think he's the best at what he does. We ran similar offenses last year so I watched a lot of his games," Burrow said. "Talked to him after the championship game. Just talking ball. I tried to play it cool, pretend like I knew what I was talking about but inside I'm like, this is Drew Brees."

Burrow won't be faking it in a few months.

If he does put his feet back on home soil as the new face of the Bengals, Burrow is hopeful one familiar face sticks around.

"With any rookie quarterback the more help you can get the better," Burrow said. "AJ Green has been one of the best at what he does for a long time. If I'm lucky enough to be picked No. 1, he's someone you want there."

--By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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