It is far from a revenge game for Jimmy Burrow when he watches son Joe tee it up against Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 19) at Paul Brown Stadium.
Packers at the Bengals? That was the last game Jimmy Burrow played in his ever so brief NFL career of three games. A few days after the back-up safety covered his last special teams play on Sept. 26, 1976 at Riverfront Stadium, the Packers cut him.
"I've got nothing against the Packers," said Jimmy Burrow earlier this week. "They were the team that drafted me and now to be able to see Joe be the quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals and playing against Aaron Rodgers, that's pretty cool."
Jimmy Burrow, an eighth-round pick out of Nebraska, had stuck with the club out of a training camp he worked for a first-year secondary coach named Dick LeBeau. He doesn't remember much about the game in which the Packers suffered a brutal quarterbacking day in a 28-7 loss that sent them to 0-3. Except that his old college teammate, running back Tony Davis, played for the Bengals.
After DBs Ken Riley and Tommy Casanova each had a pick-six, Burrow got the word.
"Someone who the Packers liked got cut and they made room by releasing me," Burrow said. "I was hoping I'd get re-signed in a couple of weeks, but Marv Levy called and I decided to go to Canada. It worked out pretty well."
Burrow left a future Hall-of-Fame coach in LeBeau to join another in Montreal, where Levy was the head coach of the CFL's Alouettes. Burrow became an all-league defensive back during a five-year stint with three teams before he began his coaching career overseeing the tight ends at Washington State.
Burrow's NFL head coach was another Hall-of-Famer, Packers Super Bowl quarterback Bart Starr, and he sees Rodgers headed to the same place.
"He's got it all," Jimmy Burrow said. "He's going to the Hall of Fame, he's won a Super Bowl. It looks to me like he's got the football intelligence and the cannon arm and the mobility. You can't pinpoint a weakness. I don't think there is any."
HUNT FOR BENGALS OCTOBER: After four games, the Bengals defensive line continues to blow away what they were doing last year. Not only after they in the top ten against the rush, but according to Pro Football Reference they are on pace to log 47 sacks, 166 pressures and 51 quarterback knockdowns. Last season they had 17 sacks, 111 pressures and 55 knockdowns.
Nose tackle D.J. Reader calls it "hunting."
"I think we've got a lot of interesting personalities in that room," Reader says. "Everybody gels along well together. We've got a band of guys that are all in the same kind of age group. We're all similar in ways that we're all competitors. Everybody's competitive. And everybody is on the board right now. Everybody has a sack so now it's just we're all hunting together.
"Everybody really wants whoever to get there and make a play and we're excited when each other makes a play because we hold ourselves at a standard. We know the play's going to come, we're going to be there for them and we're going to be there to piggyback off the next guy. We've got a good rotation. All the guys do some things a little bit different and I'm enjoying that about this defensive line. It's not like you have to plug in players. You're seeing something different every time."
Reader and three technique Larry Ogunjobi, both have a sack. Edge Trey Hendrickson has 2.5. Sam Hubbard, the other edge, has 1.5 sacks. Rotational edge B.J. Hill, has three sacks. They were all born within nearly a year of each other, from June 3, 1994 (Ogunjobi) to June 29, 1995 (Hubbard). All but Hubbard arrived in 2020 or this year.
TERRIFIC THIRD: One of the biggest differences between this year and last year is what the Bengals are doing out of halftime. Last year they were nearly doubled up in the third quarter, 98-53. After four games they've nearly scored as many already with 35 while only giving up one touchdown.
"We're a completely different team than we were last year. You've got your quarterback back, you've got a lot of the guys you've drafted and a lot of the guys are healthy," says head coach Zac Taylor. "We added pieces to our offensive line, and (running back Joe) Mixon's back. You just think of last year and not having Joe and Joe and Jonah (Williams) at times. (Tyler Boyd) missed a couple games there with injuries late. Tee (Higgins) had a hamstring he was dealing with. We didn't have Ja'Marr (Chase). We didn't have C.J. (Uzomah). So now you just add a bunch of pieces and it gets to be more what you look like."