Bengals' Joe Burrow Says Peyton Manning Gave Him 'A Lot of Different Advice'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2020

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow watches a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow said Friday he absorbed a lot of information from a conversation with five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning about life as a first overall draft pick.

Burrow explained the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos superstar agreed the situation he entered with Indy in 1998 is similar to the one the Heisman Trophy winner inherits in Cincy.

"I couldn't have appreciated that more," Burrow told reporters. "He took about an hour of his time and explained the ins and outs of what he went through."

The LSU product added: "He just gave me a lot of different advice."

The Colts were coming off a 3-13 season when they selected Manning. His debut campaign didn't suggest he would go on to become one of the greatest players in NFL history. The Tennessee product completed just 56.7 percent of his throws with 26 touchdowns and a rookie-record 28 interceptions in 16 games.

Indianapolis went 3-13 again that season before turning the corner in 1999, when it went 13-3 to win its first division title since 1987. Manning was a second-team All-Pro that season and was named to his first Pro Bowl.

In April before the draft, Manning discussed his conversation with Burrow on ESPN's SportsCenter.

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"He called me about some of the things that I tried to do as a rookie that maybe he can apply to his NFL career," he said. "Looks like it's going to be for the Cincinnati Bengals. What I told him, 'Look, Joe, if you're the first pick in the NFL draft, you are going to a team that has earned the first pick in the NFL draft. There are going to be some holes there. There's a reason the Colts were picking No. 1 that year. There's a reason the Bengals are picking No. 1 this year.'"

The 14-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl champion noted the important part is learning from mistakes as a rookie so he can "really get it going the year or two after that."

Burrow's development has been further complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which moved the offseason program into a virtual format and led to the cancellation of the preseason.

Cincinnati does have a strong group of playmakers in running back Joe Mixon and wide receivers A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross III and 2020 second-round pick Tee Higgins. They should give the Ohio native a chance to pick up some serious steam as his rookie year goes on.

Manning's career arc shows you don't have to post Hall of Fame-level numbers as a rookie in order to find massive long-term success.