Booty On Burrow Avoiding Bengals: "I Would, But I'm Not From Ohio"

Joe Burrow has never said he doesn't want to play for the Bengals, but if Josh Booty were in his shoes, he'd "try to pull a John Elway or an Eli Manning"

Zach Gelb
March 06, 2020 - 8:30 am
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Former LSU quarterback Josh Booty watched a lot of Joe Burrow this past season, and he, like pretty much everyone, liked what he saw. 

“He might not be the strongest-arm kid in the world, but he’s accurate,” Booty said on The Zach Gelb Show. “He anticipates. He’s a coach’s son. He’s gritty. He understands situational football. I think the sky’s the limit. The only thing that could hold him back is Cincinnati, and that franchise not being able to go get the free agents that you need to build around him. So they’re going to have to draft well, keep the guys they got like A.J. Green, and hope that Burrow shows up and shows out and stays healthy.”

But even that might not be enough. The Bengals reached the playoffs seven times under former coach Marvin Lewis, and they lost all seven games. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2015, and last year they went 2-14 – their worst finish since 2002.

“I think he’s got great potential,” Booty said of Burrow, “but so did Carson Palmer and he never won a playoff game. So you look at some of their first picks overall that they’ve had. I don’t think any of them has ever won a playoff game just because Cincinnati is not in the playoffs. If Burrow can win a playoff game, that’s better than anything that they’ve ever had or drafted out of college. So it’ll be interesting.”

Booty, a Louisiana native, was a sixth-round pick in 2001. If he were the presumptive No. 1 pick, however, he would try to force his way out of Cincinnati.

“I would, but I’m not from Ohio,” he said. “Joe Burrow is from Ohio. The state of Ohio really, really loves him. He’s done a lot there for people in the community, and his girlfriend lives in Cincinnati, of all places. So it might be [a] built-in, perfect situation for him. Knowing me, I would try to pull a John Elway or an Eli Manning and get to a big market and play on a really good football team. Maybe he’s a guy that can go in and change the entire culture. Maybe he’s that good. I believe in him. I just don’t know if he can do it in Cincinnati. That’s a very, very tough situation.”