This week, Jimmy Burrow kindly joined Matt’s Take for a question-and-answer session. Jimmy is the father of Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Joe Burrow. He is a former NFL player, former all-star in the Canadian Football League, and former college coach. Jimmy attended Nebraska and was selected in the NFL draft in the eighth round in 1976. Jimmy obviously knows football and was able to pass down his knowledge of the game to his Heisman Trophy winning son.
As everyone knows, the Burrow family is from Athenso. Not very many star athletes come from that area, which is what makes Joe Burrow so unique. When you talk about Athens around this region, three things typically come to my mind: Joe Burrow, Ohio University and The Convo (Ohio University’s basketball arena where many high school teams play tournament games). As I have lived my entire life in the very rural town of Peebles, which is in between Athens and Cincinnat. I know and understand the uniqueness of Joe Burrow and how much he means to this region. While everyone has listened to Joe Burrow interviews, whether that’s on “Pardon My Take”, “The Colin Cowherd Podcast” or the “Full Send Podcast”, this week I wanted to dive into the thoughts from the father of our star quarterback.
Q: At what point in your life or Joe’s did you realize that he was going to be an NFL quarterback?
A: “Not really until 2018 season at LSU. I thought he had the potential but he finally got a chance to prove it.”
Q: Joe is obviously very competitive. Does he get this trait from you?
A: “I think Joe growing up with me being a coach allowed him to see how important it was to compete and win. Our family had an athletic tradition, so things were always competitive in everything we did.”
Q: What is your favorite memory as a player/coach in your career?
A: “As a player, probably winning the Sugar Bowl with Nebraska in college and winning the Grey Cup in the CFL. As a coach, beating Nebraska while at Iowa State and beating Penn State while at Ohio.”
Q: Being from Athens and spending a lot of time in Cincinnati now, what are the best places to eat in Athens as well as Cincinnati?
A: “I don’t want to name them all and possibly leave someone out, but there’s great places to eat in Athens and Cincy. But I will mention two in The Plains: The Eclipse and Gigi’s Country Kitchen.”
Q: What are you most proud of with Joe outside of football?
A: “We just launched the Joe Burrow Foundation which addresses family food insecurities and children mental health issues in Athens and Southeast Ohio, as well as the Cincinnati area and Baton Rouge. Very proud that he wants to give back to the areas that have been so important to Joe and our family. To get more information about the foundation go to JoeBurrow.org.”
Q: Do you ever give Joe any tips on what to wear before each game?
A: “No, he’s on his own there, Ha.”
Q: What is your prediction for how the rest of the season will go for the Bengals?
A: “The Bengals are playing well right now so we are excited that hopefully they will continue to get better and win the AFC North.”
Burrow & Boyd Shine
Last week’s game was the first time this season that I believe my blood pressure didn’t rise throughout the game. It was practically a stress free game as all fans were able to enjoy a dominating performance from a Bengals team that appears to be returning to top tier form. Joe Burrow and the dynamic trio put on quite a performance, while the defense continued their second half dominance once again. Tyler Boyd was the hot hand early in the game and continued to put on one of the best performances of his career. This win has the Ravens and Bengals tied again this week at 4-3 with some crucial games upcoming for Cincinnati. If Cincinnati can remain healthy and continue to have success at the line of scrimmage, we might just be watching them play playoff football again.
· Joe Burrow — He must’ve known I was featuring his father this week (Lol) and wanted to put on an amazing performance, so he threw for 481 yards along with three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Joe continued to have success again while running most of the offense out of shotgun. Joe became the first player in NFL history with 450-plus passing yards, three-plus passing touchdowns, 80-plus completion percentage, and a rushing touchdown all in a single game.
· Tyler Boyd certainly deserved to due his “Levels” celebration multiple times on Sunday, as he reeled in eight receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. He had a dynamic one-handed catch and seemed to be Burrow’s go-to man for most of the game. The rest of the trio played fantastic as well, as Ja’Maar Chase brought in eight receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns and Tee Higgins was just seven yards short from having all three of them at 100-plus yards receiving.
· Cincinnati’s second half defense stood strong again. Lou Anarumo and the defense have yet to allow a touchdown in the second half all season. Lou appears to be an adjustment wizard and continues to have this defense ready to adapt every second half.
· Akeem Davis-Gaither had a fantastic game at linebacker as he racked up a team-leading nine tackles. With Logan Wilson and D.J. Reader injured, players like Akeem and Jay Tufele will continue to have to step up each week as well.
· Injuries are beginning to pile up as Cincinnati was already down Reader and Wilson before the game. During the game, Collins left the field with an injury, although he did return later in the game. Hendrickson exited the game with an apparent neck injury, although from the stands it appeared he was not pleased with exiting the game. With many lingering injuries, the bye week will serve this team well in a few weeks and allow players like Tee and Chase to get some much-needed rest, as they have been banged up as of recent, but are managing to play through.
· The run game is still non-existent. Joe Mixon had 17 carries for 58 yards and only managed to gain an average of 3.4 yards per carry. As I have stated many times this season, in order for this team to make another Super Bowl run, they have to find a way to find some running room.
· Eli Apple was burnt yet again on a deep route from Damiere Byrd. Apple has not been himself the past two weeks and it seems that Lou didn’t hesitate to make the change today. While Apple not playing well is a negative, Cam Taylor-Britt was finally given his chance as the Bengals CB2 and I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Depth is a good problem to have.
Matthew McAdow is a Peebles resident. He works in human resources in the nuclear industry and has been an avid Cincinnati fan his entire life. He is an Ohio Christian University graduate and has always enjoyed giving an honest opinion on multiple topics regarding Cincinnati sports.