(The Advocate) - Former LSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow is less than a week away from the start of his NFL career as the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.
To better prepare for his rookie season, Burrow reached out to a familiar face last week, NFL legend Peyton Manning.
Manning was a guest on the Sunday morning edition of ESPN's SportsCenter and revealed some of the details of his call with Burrow to host Hannah Storm.
Manning's advice for Burrow focused on becoming a better player through the tough transition from the college game to the pros, especially coming onto a team that "really earned the first pick in the draft."
"There are going to be some holes there," Manning said. "There's a reason the Colts were picking No. 1 (the year I was drafted). There's a reason the Bengals are picking No. 1 this year. Other people have to step up to give him some help."
Manning used his own rough start to his successful pro career as a reference for Burrow, telling him "it's a marathon, it's not a sprint."
For Burrow, talking to Manning makes sense. Not only does he have a relationship established with the five-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl winner after serving as a camp counselor at last year's Manning Passing Academy, but they also have some traits in common.
Manning also returned to school for his senior season, like Burrow did, resulting in a stellar campaign that led to him being chosen as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
In his rookie season, the Colts finished 3-13 and Manning set an NFL rookie record by throwing 28 interceptions — a record that Manning said he wouldn't mind if Burrow decided to break.
"I'd be OK with that; we'd still be friends," Manning jokingly said.
The following year, however, the Colts went 13-3, set an NFL record for a year-over-year win improvement and earned a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
"That wouldn't have happened had I not hung in there and learned the ropes as a rookie even though we took some bumps and bruises," Manning said. "Your rookie year is not going to be the same as your senior year in college, but if you learn how fast these defensive backs are, how soon you have to get rid of the ball and understand defenses, you can can become a better player and really get it going the year or two after that."
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