COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After the Cincinnati Bengals lost its shot to make a back-to-back Super Bowl appearance, quarterback Joe Burrow’s family is taking time to decompress.
In an interview with NBC4, the Heisman Trophy winner’s dad Jimmy Burrow reflected on the ups and downs of the Bengals’ 2022-23 football season. The team’s defeat in the AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs stung, but Jimmy said he’s grateful his son — who’s already preparing for the upcoming season — is healthy.
“Whether it’s a fan, a parent of a player, a player or a coach, it takes a little coming down from the highs of the season and lows of the season,” he said.
The start of the season wasn’t an easy one for the Bengals. The team fell to the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 12 and failed to conquer the New York Giants a week later. Losing the first two games, Jimmy said “you can kind of go a tank for the rest of the season.”
But the Bengals, led by none other than Joe Burrow, started to pick up momentum that would ultimately carry them to the AFC Championship, and Jimmy and his wife Robin were there every step of the way.
“We want to be there after the game, win or lose,” Jimmy said.
Although Jimmy has dueling mindsets — one as a dad and another as a former football coach — it’s not his coaching hat that’s on while he sits in the stands. He’s Joe’s dad.
“You see Joe take the snap, drop back and throw the football, and I think that is just again parental instincts taking over at that point — not coaching instincts,” he said.
It wasn’t easy to watch his son and the Bengals lose to the now-Super Bowl contender Kansas City Chiefs, Jimmy said. But only one teams gets to leave a champion at the end of the NFL season, and he said Joe and the team have a lot to be grateful for.
“We don’t really discuss the game really very much,” Jimmy said. “You try to say, ‘Hey, you had a great season,’ and he knows that, but there’s just not a lot of things you can say to him other than, ‘You did have a positive season and the future is bright.'”
“Probably the most comforting things that we said as parents is that, ‘You are healthy at the end of the season,'” he said.
As for Joe’s next steps, Jimmy said he is taking some much-needed time off, though the quarterback doesn’t like to stay away from the weight room too long.
Jimmy said Joe will be spending time with friends and family, and before he knows it, it will be time to get serious about leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl for a second time.
He’s also rooting for his son’s success off the field. During the off-season, Jimmy encouraged Bengals fans to donate to The Joe Burrow Foundation, a nonprofit launched a few months ago that aims to provide resources and financial support to low-income, marginalized people in Southeast Ohio.
“We concentrate on families who have trouble paying their bills and children with mental health issues and then families with food insecurities,” he said.
Jimmy — who still isn’t quite accustomed to seeing his son’s jersey and name across the state of Ohio — thanked Bengals fans for the continued support, with a special shoutout to those in their Athens hometown.