The Demise of Joe Burrow?

From the Sidelines

As I watched football this past Sunday, I wasn’t interested in watching the Bengals much.  I guess I am still jaded about them. I still don’t trust Mike Brown to make a good decision.

There is no need to go into his ownership record with drafts and players, so I will leave it at that.  However, Last year, I saw a glimmer of hope by the performance of Joe Burrow.  This kid can play!  But……..he was a Bengal, Mike Brown is still around, and like I said, I don’t trust him to make good decisions.

Why, you may ask, do I not trust the whole organization, really? Glad you asked!  In all the years I have watched the Bengals, I remember the days of Paul Brown, and now Mike’s tenure of the franchise. Paul was a football man, and knew you built from the inside out.

Paul’s first draft choice ever was Bob Johnson, Center from Tennessee.  You start by being strong in the middle.  Mike, goes more for the flash. They may not need a quarterback, but gosh, I love the name Akili Smith because Akili means “warrior”!  That’s the difference, and the reason! Genius like that remark there!

Joe Burrow has what I think it takes to be a franchise quarterback.  Big, strong, smart, and commands the huddle.  I like him.  The question is how long will he be able to be a Bengal?  You see, as long as I can remember in Mike’s reign as leader of the organization, he seems to draft some really good quarterbacks, then allows them to get killed because of his offensive lines.

Take David Klingler, for example.  David was a strong armed kid from Houston, who was probably the best quarterback in the 1992 draft.  What happened? The Bengals had no help around the kid in the offensive line and he got killed. In his first game, he was sacked 11 times by Pittsburgh, 11! His offensive line was truly offensive, and Klingler was sacked 11% of the time on his drop backs he spent in Cincinnati. Holy cow! No wonder the Kid got gun shy and was a bust.

According to some Cincinnati reporters, there have been several qb’s ask to be traded from Cincinnati, Boomer Esiason, and Carson Palmer to name two. Though Boomer got them to a Super Bowl, even he had had enough.

Which brings me to Joe Burrow.  I just wonder if the Bengals will spend a few high draft picks on offensive linemen for the guy?  Mike Brown has always been hesitant to do so, and his philosophy, which he stated once was “a good running back makes an offensive line.” This piece of genius was said when they drafted Ki-jana Carter!  How’d that work out Mike?

I have heard from two loyal Bengal fans and golf partners for several years now that Mike is no longer in control, that Katie Blackburn ( Mike’s daughter) and her husband have taken over.  That is yet to be proven.  We will see if Katie, (it is said that she is more like her grandfather, Paul) and the crew have learned anything.

According to Statmuse, In 2020 while playing in ten games, Joe Burrow was sacked 32 times. Last year, Joe, the Franchise, was sacked 51 times in the season and postseason, and got hurt and missed some time. This year, in only 2 games, he has gone down 13 times, for a grand total of 96 in a little over 2 and a half years!

That is 3 a game for every game he has played, 32 to this point, including playoff games! How long can he continue to take this much pounding before it affects him?  Does it appear that the organization has learned anything to this point?

Everyone thought that the Bengals had made a big improvement in the offensive line by changing four of the five starters from last year.  Now, I agree, it is early, and it takes time for lines to gel and work together.  But this group had absolutely no help from head coach Zac Taylor for not allowing the starters to play much in the pre- season.  That also is probably the reason for the two poor showings so far this year. It just seems Cincinnati can’t get out of its own way!

I know I pound on the Bengals, a team I used to love.  I just got tired of high expectations, and low production in the Mike Brown era. I will admit though that I really like Joe Burrow.  I think with some more offensive line help, he can get the Bengals to the Super Bowl.  He has the receivers, the backs, and the defense to get it done. He throws with the best of them, but he can’t throw it lying on his back!

As I watched some replays of the game Sunday, I saw a young man, who was starting to look like he had to get rid of the ball right now on a couple of occasions; He looked……frustrated.

So, for all Bengal fans, and ones like me who have given up but still want to see them succeed, SPEND SOME MONEY AND GET SOME OFFENSIVE LINEMEN, or sadly we will probably see the career of Joe Burrow go the way of other Cincinnati QB’s; so much promise, so much talent wasted on no help from the ownership.  That’s the way I see it, from the sidelines.


Commissioner Mike Stegall

Mike Stegall / Correspondent

Mike Stegall is a GHS alum and played on the Green Wave's only undefeated football team. Served 27 years as an OHSAA football official and currently serves as a Darke County Commissioner

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