Joe Burrow didn't have to show off in shorts and a compression shirt for NFL scouts. His tape spoke for itself.
Burrow didn't have to train for the combine events, because he was the consensus No. 1 pick, which left him to maintain his training routine and work on football, not times and reps. The new face of the Bengals' future is hoping that helps him transition to the NFL quicker than most.
"Doing what I've been for the last few months," Burrow told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport during an appearance on the RapSheet + Friends podcast. "You know the privilege of doing what we did last season was that I didn't have to train for a 40-yard dash, or a 3 cone, a 5-10-5 so I've been just working on my game and watching film and doing things that actually translate to playing quarterback. So, I'm just going to continue with that process.
"When I'm in my situation I don't have to spend ten hours working on my starts for a 40-yard dash. I can spend that 10 hours either resting my body, or taking care of my arm, or throwing more, watching film, however you want to divide it up. But you know, that was an advantage that I have (in) the offseason."
Burrow benefited significantly from such a process last offseason, when he was afforded time to learn a new offensive system under coordinator Joe Brady. That pairing produced Burrow's breakout season, in which he set the new college football record for passing touchdowns in a season (60), won the Heisman Trophy and cemented himself as the No. 1 choice in the draft.
The Bengals aren't wasting that progress made by Burrow and Brady, asking the quarterback to send them his top 10 plays from college to see if they can carry over some or all of the elements that worked so well for the signal-caller. Burrow said he was "super excited" about the possibilities of such an inclusion.
Now he's back in Ohio, where he grew up and spent his youth with his dad, longtime Ohio University defensive coordinator Jimmy Burrow, who was the most famous Burrow in the family. That title now belongs to Joe, who experienced firsthand his newfound fame moments before he was officially selected when hockey legend Wayne Gretzky sent him a text.
"I showed it to my dad and he almost fainted," Burrow said of the Gretzky text. "That was like 2 or 3 minutes before the draft officially kicked off."
Not a bad way to being your pro career.