<
>

Joe Burrow helps his push to start with weeks of Bengals offense study

play
Burrow's first thought after being drafted: Let's get to work (2:28)

Joe Burrow joins Scott Van Pelt to discuss being selected first overall and how ready he is to get to work in Cincinnati. (2:28)

He wasn't officially part of the team until Thursday, but Joe Burrow's head-start in getting to know the Cincinnati Bengals' playbook could end in him being the team's Week 1 starter.

Burrow has been studying the Bengals' offense for weeks, and one source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that he is so far ahead that he will be able to challenge for the starting quarterback job right away.‬

On Thursday, after the Bengals selected Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick, Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor said the incoming rookie will be expected to compete for the team's starting job.

"That's exactly how I expect to do it as well," Burrow said during a teleconference with local reporters. "I'm going to come in and compete and try to be the best player I can be."

In an interview with ESPN 1530 on Friday, Burrow said his primary focus before the draft had been on his own development rather than a specific team structure.

"It's been kind of nice since the end of last season," Burrow told the radio station. "It's really the only time in your career that you can solely focus on your own development and not have to work with timing with receivers and film study with coaches and stuff like that. You can really focus on your own physical tools."

In preparing to compete for the starting job, Burrow said Thursday that he will have to adjust to missing the mental reps he would have gained during rookie minicamps and organized team activities, which have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Burrow said the offseason process includes getting comfortable with calling plays in the huddle.

Veteran Andy Dalton has been the Bengals' primary starting quarterback since he was drafted in 2011. But Dalton is entering the final year of his contract, and his $17.7 million salary will put the Bengals over the cap.

Burrow is coming off a historic season at LSU during which he threw for an FBS-record 60 touchdowns as he led the Tigers to a national championship. He also completed 76.3% of his passes and won the Heisman Trophy.

ESPN's Ben Baby contributed to this report.