- OK, back to Burrow: On paper, he appears to be exactly what the Bengals need because of his intangibles. Yes, he has the necessary physical talent to play the position. Like Andy Dalton, he lacks a huge arm, but he can make all the throws (and probably a better deep ball). Burrow is also a better athlete than Dalton and better at making plays on the run and when things break down. Beyond that, Burrow exhibits the leadership qualities Dalton lacks. Not only does he remain popular with his former Ohio State teammates, he also went to LSU, became a captain and then led a team that had underachieved for about a decade to the national championship with a certain swagger that comes not from believing you are good but having shown it.
- And that takes us to the coach. Now we are set out find out if Zac Taylor goes down in history as the guy who puts the Bengals in position to win with Joe Burrow or just the guy who put them in position to get Joe Burrow.
- The regular beat writers made a lot of excuses for Taylor in his disastrous first season, but of course if the fire of 2019 leads to fertile fields for the foreseeable future, it might all work out in the end. I have been a big Taylor skeptic since the day he was hired, but I am willing to buy that a lot of things out of his control worked against him last year from getting a late start on evaluating the roster to AJ Green getting hurt. I also don't think Taylor came close to maximizing what he had or making the best of the situation, but that's in the past now. Just like players, it is possible for coaches to develop and get better.
- I hate when we create news by prematurely putting someone on the hot seat, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out. There are likely to be bumps in the road because that's how it goes, the roster has some holes and some of the good players are older, so new holes will be opening up sooner or later even as others a filled. A strength is never far from being a weakness in the NFL. Also the coach may not know what he's doing. When teams lose, you have to look at all possible reasons why, and when the coach has a very thin resume, that's hard to overlook.
- Of course Taylor's job was safe in January because Mike Brown is not the type to fire a coach after one year whether he deserves it or not. Unless they win only two or fewer games again, let's assume Taylor will be back in 2021 as well. Then things could get interesting because they'll be almost halfway through Burrow's rookie contract, meaning they need to make sure he has a reason to want to stay in Cincinnati, and the window to win before his salary balloons and wipes out what could be spent one two or more good starters will be close to closing.
“Marcus Musings” is a semi-regular feature here at the blog. While most of our other coverage is concentrated on news and analysis, this is a place to share opinions on various stories permeating the sports world and (hopefully) have some fun. Have your own thoughts? Send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter or Facebook.