Mostly nameless outdoors of southeastern Ohio when Thursday dawned, Sam Smathers may fall asleep tonight as one of many extra well-known and appreciated Bengals followers.

Ah, the affect of Joe Burrow.

Burrow, on his first Zoom media session since beating the Chiefs Sunday to earn a spot in Super Bowl LVI, dropped Smathers’ title when he mentioned he by no means needed to play quarterback as a child, however his former youth coach pressured him into it.

“I got to my first pee-wee practice and the coach at the time, coach Sam Smathers — I still see him all the time when I go back home — he basically asked me if I wanted to be quarterback, and I said, ‘no, not really,’” Burrow mentioned. “But then he said, ‘Well, you’re gonna be quarterback. Too bad.’”

Smathers was the primary to see what the remainder of the soccer world has since discovered — that Burrow has the innate instruments to run an offense.

“We had a youth camp up on the hill before football season and we needed a quarterback and the first week of practice I told my assistant coach Heath Bullock, ‘I think there’s our quarterback,’ and he said, ‘Yep, that’s him. Joe Cool.’

“I didn’t even know his dad was a coach at (Ohio University),” Smathers added. “When I found out, it made sense. The football IQ he had at that age was impressive. He really got into the game, and he could remember the plays.”

Burrow mentioned he had it in his thoughts he would play operating again or receiver. Smathers remembered him asking to play protection.

Regardless, Smathers was proper. Burrow was a born quarterback.



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