Peyton Manning has revealed he took a call from Joe Burrow ahead of the NFL Draft and took the chance to warn the quarterback about what he can expect as a rookie.
Burrow, the presumptive number one overall pick for the Cincinnati Bengals, reached out to two-time Super Bowl champion Manning ahead of Thursday’s draft.
Manning advised Burrow, who is coming off a historic college season with LSU that ended in a National Championship, not to expect immediate success at the highest level.
He felt his difficult experiences as a number one overall pick in 1998 with the Indianapolis Colts set the foundations for a Hall of Fame NFL career, and urged the young signal caller to keep the long-term in mind.
«Yeah, Joe called me last week,» Manning said to ESPN. «Obviously we have somewhat of a relationship since he came down to our football camp last summer.
«I try to stay in touch with all the quarterbacks that come down to the camp if I can be a resource for them, especially as they approach their NFL dreams with what an exciting year Joe had.
«He called me about some of the things that I tried to do when I was a rookie that maybe he can apply to his NFL career – looks like it’s going to be with the Cincinnati Bengals.
«I said, ‘Joe, when you’re the first pick in the NFL Draft, you are going to a team that has really earned the first pick in the NFL Draft’. There are going to be some holes there and there’s a reason the Colts are picking number one that year, there’s a reason the Bengals are picking number one this year.
«So other people have to step up, have to give him some help. But I tried to tell him it’s a marathon, not a sprint.»
Manning joked that he would be happy to see Burrow, 23, break one of his many NFL records – the mark for most interceptions as a rookie.
«Look, I lost more games my rookie year than I had my entire high school and college career combined,» said Manning.
«I threw 28 interceptions – that’s still an NFL record. If Joe wants to break that, I’d be okay with that – we’d still be friends!
«But I tried to learn a lot that year. I played every game. Jim Mora never took me out, I learned some things in the fourth quarter of those blowouts about what it took to be an NFL quarterback.
«The next year we went from 3-13 to 13-3. That wouldn’t have happened had I not hung in there and kind of learned the ropes as a rookie even though we took some bumps and bruises.
«So that’s what I tried to encourage Joe and all the NFL quarterbacks, that your rookie year is not gonna be the same as your senior year in college.
«But if you learn how fast these defensive backs are, how soon you have to get rid of the ball, understand defenses, you can become a better player and really get it going a year or two after that.»