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‘I play the game my own way’

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While it’s very early, Joe Burrow’s career path could end with him earning a place in Canton.

The young star still has a ways to go to enter the conversation for a gold jacket, but if his last year of production holds over the next decade, it will become a realistic discussion. Some folks are already moving a few steps ahead on Burrow’s board, drawing comparisons between he and legendary Buccaneers signal-caller, Tom Brady, ahead of their Week 15 meeting.

Naturally, Burrow downplayed the comparison.

“I don’t really pay attention to it. He’s Tom and I’m Joe,” Burrow said after Wednesday’s practice, via the Bengals’ official site. “I really just think that I play the game my own way. I kind of have a little bit of everybody. I wouldn’t say there’s one thing I do the best. But I would say that I do everything with the best of them. I wouldn’t say I really have a glaring weakness.”

You have to admit, Burrow’s press conferences have slowly started to produce some gold-star content. Last week, reporters asked him what was different about Cleveland — a team Burrow hadn’t beaten until Sunday — and he plainly responded, “Well, they have Myles Garrett. That’s different from everybody else.”

“He’s Tom and I’m Joe” is as intentionally simple as it gets, which falls right in line with the way Burrow approaches every matchup. So far, it’s been a productive attitude, helping Burrow land in the top five of all NFL quarterbacks in completion percentage (68.1), passing yards per game (283.5) and passing touchdowns (27). He currently ranks second in the last of those three categories, and it appears the Bengals are just now hitting their stride as they enter the final month of the season.

Much of this has to do with Burrow’s performance, which has been reliably effective, even when surrounding circumstances haven’t been the best. Take last week, for example, when Burrow lost two of his top three receivers in the first few minutes of Cincinnati’s Week 14 game against division-rival Cleveland, then completed 18 of 33 passes for 239 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, securing his first win over the Browns.

It’s the type of performance we’ve seen from Brady countless times in his career: a special quarterback overcoming personnel-related hurdles to lead his team to victory. It’s not the only area in which Burrow and Brady are similar, either. Just ask Burrow.

“I have the quick release,” Burrow said when asked which qualities he shares with Brady. “I’ve become really efficient with my lower body, getting the ball out and seeing the defense.”

Burrow only continues to get better with time, a reality that has defined Brady even as he’s played well beyond 40 years old. If he follows the same path, we can move from lofty projections to something more concrete — or the same bronze used to make the busts in Canton.

Image & Story Credit: nfl.com

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