Peyton Manning says likely No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow is going to take his lumps in his rookie year but that those rough times can help propel him to success in his later years.
Manning, who was the No. 1 overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1998 draft, said Sunday on SportsCenter that Burrow recently called him for advice on being a rookie quarterback. Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy and a national title last season with LSU, attended Manning’s Passing Academy last summer.
“He called me about some of the things that I tried to do as a rookie that maybe he can apply to his NFL career,” Manning said. “Looks like it’s going to be for the Cincinnati Bengals. What I told him, ‘Look, Joe, if you’re the first pick in the NFL draft, you are going to a team that has earned the first pick in the NFL draft. There are going to be some holes there. There’s a reason the Colts were picking No. 1 that year. There’s a reason the Bengals are picking No. 1 this year.'”
Manning pointed out that he lost more games in his rookie year than he had in his high school and college careers combined, but it was a valuable learning experience.
“[Then-Colts coach] Jim Mora never took me out,” Manning said. “I learned some things in the fourth quarter of those blowouts about what it took to be an NFL quarterback, and the next year we went from 3-13 to 13-3. That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t have hung in there and learned the ropes as a rookie, even though we took some bumps and bruises.
“So that’s what I tried to encourage Joe and all the other rookie quarterbacks, that your rookie year is not going to be the same as your senior year in college. But if you learn how fast the defensive backs are, how soon you have to get rid of the ball, understand defenses, you can become a better player and really get it going the year or two after that.”
After Manning’s rookie season, he had just one more season in his career when he was the starting quarterback and his team had a losing record. He won two Super Bowls and is third all time in passing yards and touchdowns.
Manning set a record during his rookie season that still stands, but he joked Sunday that he would be fine if Burrow broke it.
“I threw 28 interceptions my first year. That’s still an NFL record,” Manning said. “If Joe wants to break that, I’d be OK with that. We’d still be friends.”