Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow frustrated by early training camp struggles

CINCINNATI -- Physically, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow says he feels fine. Getting there mentally, however, is going to take a little bit more time.

On Saturday, Burrow analyzed his struggles through the early portion of training camp and outlined how to fix what's ailing him.

"It's frustrating right now, more so just not feeling like myself," Burrow said. "I know I've put the work in to make my knee feel good, make my body ready for the season. It's just now trusting my abilities, trusting my work, trusting everything."

Burrow is still recovering from a major knee injury in 2020 that ended his rookie season after 10 games. The top overall pick in last year's draft was given a rest day Wednesday after a couple of practices that featured interceptions and an inability to build a rhythm with the offense, especially in team drills.

Burrow wants to become more comfortable when throwing in the pocket. After Friday's practice, he spent extra time with quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher and other team personnel, simulating pressure. That approach will continue Saturday as Burrow looks to improve his pocket presence.

The quarterback hasn't taken a hit since he suffered his knee injury in November against Washington. The lack of contact, Burrow said, has hampered his accuracy throughout training camp.

"In the team drills it's affected it for sure," Burrow said. "I just need to get back to being able to feel the people around me as opposed to seeing the people around me."

Burrow reiterated his desire to play in the preseason, but deferred that decision to the coaching staff. Bengals coach Zac Taylor has repeatedly indicated that scenario is currently off the table.

Earlier this week, Taylor said there wasn't cause for panic. Burrow echoed that sentiment Saturday but acknowledged that he needs to "get going."

There is still ample time for the young quarterback to find his footing as the team prepares for its season opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 12. Burrow said he hopes he will feel like his former self in a couple of days.

"I'm throwing the ball in the right spot, getting the right checks and doing all that stuff right now," Burrow said. "It's just putting the physical and mental side back together. They're two separate things right now."