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Catching Up With Joe Burrow: 'We Know We Have The Right People In Place'


In his perpetual pursuit to evolve as the Bengals franchise quarterback, Joe Burrow showed up for work Thursday with a growing frame to match.

"Trying to get a little bigger and stronger. That's kind of been a focus this offseason," said Burrow of his weight as he put on his cleats while sitting on the turf of the IEL Indoor Facility. "We'll see where it goes. That will kind of be determined as we get closer to training camp. See how I feel."

It looks to be more than his customary 215 pounds, but one thing that feels right is that his offseason regimen with longtime trainer Dak Notestine hasn't gone off track with the rehab for his throwing wrist.

"I'm doing the rehab every day. That's always a part of it," Burrow said. "As far as my offseason training, it hasn't really affected it too much. I've been able to pretty much do everything I normally do from a lifting and conditioning standpoint. I'm in a great spot body-wise."

He says the wrist is, too, after the injury ended his season in the tenth game. His last pass turned out to be a touchdown flip that helped keep him the NFL's all-time accurate passer heading into 2024.

"Getting better every day. We'll continue to throw and progress," Burrow said.

He's also paying attention to the rest of his body.

"I'm confident I've put all the work in I need to make sure I'm healthy," Burrow said. "I'm continuing year-to-year to better hone that and make that more efficient. Maybe listen to my body a little more throughout the offseason and not push through things that maybe I have in the past. I'm just starting to learn my body more and more."

In an offseason where the Bengals lost offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to the head-coaching ranks, Zac Taylor made sure Burrow wouldn't have to learn an offense when he promoted quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher to replace Callahan and assistant quarterbacks coach Brad Kragthorpe to replace Pitcher.

"The goal is to stay as close to the same as you can. It's why we promoted Pitch, it's why we promoted Brad," Burrow said. "We tried to keep most of the things in-house and then we had a couple of additions that we think will bring a new element to our process. I think that's always a good thing, too. I'm excited to see what that working relationship is going to be like.

"Whoever is here you're going to self-scout and tweak what you did from last year to be a better offense."

There's no question what Burrow has in mind on how to take his offense into the top tier. And make no mistake. He's talking the top.

"We have to be more consistent than we were last year. Part of that was the injury to me," Burrow said. "I think we just need to take that next step as an offense. Be more consistent series-to-series. We've been pretty good game-to-game, but I think if we really want to be one of those top one to three offenses in the league, we have to be more consistent."

Burrow acknowledges the departures of running back Joe Mixon and slot receiver Tyler Boyd are going to give the offense a new feel, but he also says the additions of players such as tight end Mike Gesicki, right tackle Trent Brown, and running back Zack Moss hit the spot.

"I think they'll fill big roles for us," Burrow said. "I think we signed the right kind of guys after meeting them."

If an offense evolves, so does a locker room. Burrow heads into a room without Mixon, Boyd, and DJ Reader for the first time in his career. He seems to sense he'll be a more senior captain.

"Every year I'm growing and evolving as a player and as a leader," Burrow said. "I think every year I take a step in the direction I want to go as far as leading, leading by example, having conversations with guys. It's just another year under my belt where I'm more comfortable and have a better understanding of those things. As you get older, you get wiser, you better understand how to try to put all the personalities of a team to make the locker room a fun place and that translates to the field."

He believes it's a locker room stocked to win.

"We know we have the right people in place to reach our goals," Burrow said. "It's just about putting all those pieces together and finding our roles to optimize what we can do."

That all starts Monday at Paycor Stadium when the Bengals open their offseason workouts. But Thursday night, Burrow does something he rarely does and will make a podcast appearance on the New Heights live show of Jason and Travis Kelce at the University of Cincinnati's Fifth Third Arena.

"There's not a ton of purely football podcasts out there. I never mind talking ball and those guys are Ohio guys and they're good dudes," said Burrow, wearing an Ohio all-star game t-shirt. "I'm always down to talk ball."