Bengals Analyst On Burrow: “This Dude Knows What He’s Doing”

There's "no panic" in Joe Burrow's game, Dave Lapham says, and he and the Cincinnati Bengals could flirt with .500 in 2020

Tiki and Tierney
August 19, 2020 - 6:38 pm
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Joe Burrow is yet to throw a pass for the Cincinnati Bengals, but already Dave Lapham likes what he sees.

“There’s no panic in his game,” the former Bengals offensive lineman and current radio analyst said on Tiki & Tierney. “There’s total poise in his game. He’s got an earned confidence based on the season that he had [at LSU]. . . . The dude has unbelievable people skills. His dad coached for a long time [and] played at Nebraska. His brother also played at Nebraska. Joe Burrow loves the grind. He loves the preparation. His teammates respect that. He gets it. He’s got the it factor. He’s definitely confident, but it’s not arrogant. He’s not boastful. It’s not offensive. But you feel like this dude knows what he’s doing.”

Lapham attended the NFL Combine earlier this year – specifically to see Burrow.

“He took over the room,” Lapham said. “He seems to have a great answer for everything. He has great people skills. He just knows how to deal with people. That’s the best way I can describe him.”

Burrow, as he did at LSU, will have excellent weapons in Cincinnati. That starts with seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro A.J. Green, who missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury. That was one of many reasons the Bengals finished 2-14. In fact, Cincinnati is 3-21 over its last 24 games in which Green doesn’t play.

“A.J. Green tilts coverage,” Lapham said. “A.J. Green empties the box. A.J. Green gives running lanes to Joe Mixon. A.J. Green is hugely vital to the success of the team. If A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd line up in the opener – A.J. Green has got six 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Tyler Boyd has two. Joe Mixon has two 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Since the common draft era in 1967, [there have been] 510 combined starts by rookie quarterbacks taken in the top five; none have had guys with that type of [pedigree] in terms of production. It’s not like the cupboard’s bare. The pressure is on the O-Line to let Joe Burrow do his thing, but they do have some weapons, there’s no doubt.”

The Bengals lost eight games by eight points or fewer last season. They will look to improve that mark in 2020.

“If you win half of [those games], which you should, they’re a six-win team,” Lapham said. “It’s not unreasonable to think with Joe Burrow and with A.J. Green coming back and with Jonah Williams most importantly giving them stability at left tackle – they picked him 11th [overall] in 2019, thinking he was going to be the stud. He missed all of last year with shoulder surgery. They’ve got pieces. It stands to reason they could be a six- or seven-win team, and if things go real well, you get up to eight or nine. Now all of a sudden you start to sniff [the playoffs] a little bit. I’d like to see six or seven [wins]. That would be a vast improvement.”