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Joe Burrow shares alternate career path he considered

Joe Burrow on the sideline

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks the sideline in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 12 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Joe Burrow has grown into one of the more talented and confident quarterbacks in the NFL, but there was a point when a career in professional football seemed unlikely for him.

During a one-on-one interview on NBC Sports’ “Chris Simms Unbuttoned” released Thursday, Burrow told Simms that he experienced plenty of self-doubt after leaving Ohio State. That doubt led Burrow to start thinking about potential jobs to pursue outside of football.

“I was putting in the same work that I always put in, but I wasn’t playing,” Burrow said. “Of course there was self-doubt in that moment. I mean, when you don’t play for three years and you’re putting in the work, you feel like you’re practicing really well and you feel like you can go out there and make plays and do what you’ve always done, but you’re not getting the opportunity to show what you can do.

“There were times where I started updating my résumé, thinking about being an investment banker.”

Burrow began his college career at Ohio State where he had to compete for playing time with talented quarterbacks like J.T. Barrett and Dwayne Haskins. He only attemted 39 passes during his Ohio State career, which spanned from 2015-2017.

Burrow decided to transfer to LSU ahead of the 2018 season and played two years with the Tigers. He won the Heisman Trophy at LSU in 2019 and led the Tigers to a national title.

After two NFL seasons, it’s safe to say that Burrow made the correct career decision. He only needed an opportunity to play.

The 25-year-old threw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2021, and had a league-best 70.4 completion percentage. During the 2022 playoffs, Burrow threw for five touchdown passes and 1,105 yards with a 68.3 completion percentage in four games. He led the Cincinnati Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989.


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