LOS ANGELES — The No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was highly touted out of college. Still, former teammate A.J. Green said he believed Burrow was better than advertised when he arrived in Cincinnati.
Former Bengal Andrew Hawkins said he spoke with Green a few weeks into the 2020 season and Green was quick to tell him the rookie was a great addition to the team.
"He was like, 'He might be three times better than advertised and everybody loves him,'" Hawkins said. "And it's hard for a rookie or a young player to get guys to follow him that quickly. You see what he's been able to do in just two seasons...the team goes as he goes."
A lifelong fan, Hawkins said he was shocked the Bengals made the Super Bowl, but believes this is only the beginning.
"It's a really awesome feeling, and I think the scarier part for the rest of the league and the exciting part for Cincinnati is they're only going to get better," Hawkins said. "Their O-line is only going to get better. They're going to continue to add pieces defensively, offensively, and when Joe Burrow says get used to it, you can't help but believe him."
While he now works as an NFL Network analyst, Hawkins said this Super Bowl run has meant a lot to him as a fan.
"I remember praying for Bengals winning seasons as a kid — trying to behave in school and not talk back and do my homework and hope that they would have a winning season, and here they are in the damn Super Bowl," Hawkins said. "It's nuts."
Former Bengals star Collinsworth will call color commentary for team's first Super Bowl since he played for them
Andrew Whitworth's family will always root for the Bengals — just not this Sunday