Joe Burrow knew at a young age he wanted to play like Tom Brady, and we’re not talking only about the precision passing and off-the-charts leadership.
Burrow long has admired Brady’s toughness, a trait the future Hall of Fame quarterback also sees in spades when it comes to the Cincinnati Bengals star. During a recent appearance on Brady’s “Let’s Go!” podcast, Burrow recalled the play when he became aware of Brady’s grit.
“My earliest memory of something like that from a quarterback was when Tom, I think you were playing the Bills and you were running to the right, and you slid and somebody just knocked your head off,” Burrow said, as transcribed by SB Nation. “Helmet goes flying. You got up so fast, and I saw that I was like ‘I wanna be like that. I’m going to do that.’ I forgot how old I was, I was probably in middle school at this point. I just remember that vividly and trying to model myself after that.”
The hit Burrow is referring to is one of the hardest Brady took in his 22-year career. Roughly three months after Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe as the Patriots’ starting QB, the former was absolutely leveled by ex-Buffalo Bills cornerback Nate Clements as he ran up the sideline. Clements led with his shoulder, but the sheer violence and optics on the play might have yielded a flag in today’s game.
Burrow will try to avoid taking on a similar hit Sunday at SoFi Stadium. That might not be easy, though, as the Bengals’ offensive line is shaky and the Los Angeles Rams’ pass rush can be borderline unstoppable at times.
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