CINCINNATI, Ohio (WCMH) — Bengals’ fans know how much quarterback Joe Burrow has changed the franchise in just two years taking Cincinnati from NFL cellar-dwellers to Super Bowl contenders. But what fans may not know is Burrow never wanted to play quarterback as a kid in Athens, Ohio.
“I didn’t pick quarterback,” he said. “I got to my first pee wee practice and the coach at the time, Coach Sam Smathers, I still see him all the time when I go back home, basically just asked me if I wanted to be quarterback and I said, ‘No, not really.’ But then he was like, ‘You’re going to be quarterback. Too bad,'” Burrow said laughing.
The national champion, Heisman winner and No. 1 pick probably would have played quarterback somewhere down the line, but the first person to recognize his true talent was Smathers who steered Burrow away from his dream positions.
“I wanted to be a running back or a receiver,” Burrow said. “I don’t know why. I guess I thought in pee wee football we weren’t going to throw the ball very much, so I wanted to have the ball in my hand. Obviously, I’m glad it worked out the way that it did. This is my career. I don’t know if I’d be an NFL wide receiver. That’s probably a pipe dream. But I can play quarterback pretty well.”
Burrow is the first quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to the Super Bowl after less than three seasons and will have a chance to win it all when the Bengals face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Feb. 13 on NBC4.