Joe Burrow gave Peyton Manning a phone call, which apparently is something that one No. 1 overall pick can just casually do with another. Technically, Burrow isn’t the No. 1 overall pick — yet. But barring insane circumstance, he will be. And in an effort to prepare for the rigors of being the top pick in the NFL draft, Burrow picked Manning’s brain.
Peyton Manning gives Joe Burrow advice
Manning, the No. 1 overall pick in 1998, recounted his conversation with Burrow. Manning relayed the advice the retired Indianapolis Colts quarterback bestowed upon the LSU Tigers product. Manning also admitted there’s one of his records that he’s hoping Burrow will break.
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“And he just called me about some of the things that I tried to do when I was a rookie that maybe he can apply to his NFL career — looks like it’s going to be with the Cincinnati Bengals — and, look, what I told him, I said, ‘Joe, when you’re the first pick in the NFL Draft, you are going to a team that has really earned the first pick in the NFL Draft. There are going to be some holes there and there’s a reason the Colts are picking No. 1 that year, there’s a reason the Bengals are picking No. 1 this year, the Giants when they had Eli (Manning). So other people have to step up. You have to give them some help.’
Manning preaches patience
“I played every game. Jim Mora never took me out. I learned some things in the fourth quarter of those blowouts about what it took to be an NFL quarterback. And the next year, we went from 3-13 to 13-3. That wouldn’t have happened had I not hung in there and kind of learned the ropes as a rookie, even though we took some bumps and bruises.”
After Manning’s first season, it wouldn’t have been wild to have creeping doubts about his pro prospects. His surrounding cast was an abomination, so he completed 56.7% of his passes for 3,739 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. It wasn’t pretty. And perhaps Burrow is in store for something similar, despite his profound talent. But his career shouldn’t be made or undone in a single season.
As Manning showed in 1999, an excellent quarterback can turn around a franchise and fast. That’s likely what Burrow will have to do with the Cincinnati Bengals after they pick him at No. 1 on Thursday. Hopefully, Manning’s advice will work for Joe Burrow.
This article was first published by For the Win.