The confetti had barely stopped falling, and the cigar smoke may have still been in the air when Bengals coaches started raving about Joe Burrow.
And while they may not want to declare at the moment, it’s clear they have been as impressed as the rest of us by the quarterback who led LSU to a national title and won the Heisman.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told Geoff Hobson of the team’s website that he’s been duly impressed after watching Monday’s title game, but you could sense that Taylor didn’t want to turn in the card for the first overall pick just yet.
“We’ve started the process of evaluating him,” Taylor said. “We certainly have a long way to go before making decisions on what we’re doing with the first pick. That’s been exciting. We’re not preparing for an opponent, so we have a chance to jump into the actual film work for all the position groups. . . .
“It was impressive. There’s no doubt. I’d like to make sure we’re a little more thorough on our film evaluation with a lot of guys before we start making statements on players. But certainly he had an impressive year.”
Of course, the Bengals have a veteran quarterback under contract at the moment, a guy who has started plenty of games for them in the past, so Taylor had to be careful not to slight Andy Dalton while everyone’s excited about the new guy who isn’t there yet.
“He’s under contract and he’s a guy that we really like and feel strongly about,” Taylor said of Dalton. “That’s where we’re at right now.”
Now that he’s finished sandbagging, Taylor can return to his plans for all his picks after the first one.