Joe Burrow's Hands

It's silly season.

Jim Rome
February 25, 2020 - 11:05 am
Joe Burrow

USA Today


The NFL Combine is the definition of the silly season. It’s the time of year when so-called experts ditch the game tape and focus on a measuring tape. And there is no better example of that than hand size measurements for quarterbacks. The annual time of year when guys get their hands measured and then everyone loses their mind over the results.

Like when Joe Burrow’s hands came in at nine inches. Nooooooo! Alvin, do you have a small hand alert? Sound it! Because Joe Burrow’s career is over! 

And you’ve got to “hand” it to that so-called crew of experts, because like clockwork, as soon as that measurement got out, people started questioning whether Burrow could get a grip on the NFL with his doll-sized hands. 

Did you know that only a “hand”-ful of players with hands nine inches or smaller have been drafted in the first round? That’s a tiny handful of guys with tiny hands.  

Yes, apparently, nine inch mitts are smaller than some experts wanted to see. And they freaked out. And why not? 

If you want to be a great quarterback, you have to have huge meat hooks, allegedly. 

Because if you have small hands, you’re going to fumble the ball. Especially in the elements. I mean, that’s just science. Well, not science, but conjecture and hearsay, but this crew is never going to let facts get in the way of a good freakout. 

And there is plenty to freak out about.  

I mean, you could look at the season he just had, the one where he threw for more than 5600 yards, 60 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and completed more than 76% of his passes. Or you could look at a tape measure. 

You could break tape on a guy who just put together arguably the greatest season by a quarterback in the history of college football or you could break out a ruler.

Joe Burrow himself recognized the severity of what the hand measurement means and took to twitter.

Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands. Please keep me in your thoughts.

Nailed it. In other words, he’s not freaking out and he’s clowning you if you are.

And by the way, nor should he freak out. Patrick Mahomes is another alleged member of the tiny hands club and he seems to be doing okay. He retweeted Burrow’s tweet with:

“My small hands are doing alright so far....I believe in ya”

And that’s exactly the thing. Mahomes allegedly had small hands, but those so-called small hands can hold an MVP trophy and a Super Bowl trophy in his first three years in the league. Brett Favre, on the other HAND, had huge paws and he fumbled more than anyone. 

And, as Burrow’s qb guru Jordan Palmer said on this show yesterday, the hand size measurement is a bit of a joke. 

It’s comical. Because this time last year, people were losing their minds over Kyler Murray’s hands and the fact that he had the smallest set of any quarterback taken in the first round and then he proceeded to have the lowest fumble rate of any rookie quarterback.

In other words, you’re a dope if you freak out about hand size. If Cincinnati decides to pass on Joe Burrow because of his hand size, that’s their call. And it would be one of the worst calls ever.

Especially since Burrow made it very clear this morning that contrary to all the speculation, he would be happy to be drafted by the Bengals.

“Yeah, I mean I’m not going to not play. I’m a ball player. Whoever picks me, I’m going to go show up.”

So much for the argument that he was going to try to force his way out of Cincinnati and to different team. And he made it pretty clear he has no intention of sinking his draft stock to avoid the Bengals.

“Of course I want to be the first pick. That’s every kid’s dream. I’ve worked really, really hard for this, and I’m blessed to be in this position. A lot of people helped me get here. I’m just really excited to be in his place.”

He’s handled the last 24 hours like a boss. Cleverly mocking the hand measurement on twitter and then showing up so well with the media this morning. It would be impossible to see how he’s done all that and think, nah, I don’t want this guy as my quarterback.  Especially with those tiny hands. You do that and you’re begging. You’re just looking for a reason not to like him and, at this point, you have to look really, really hard, and probably make up some stuff.  

And as for that reference in the past to him saying that he had “leverage” in this process, he explained that he didn’t mean that he had leverage in the draft, he meant that he had leverage in the Combine.

“I was kind of talking more about the Combine process. Just so everyone knows, I’m not going to throw. I’m not going to workout. That’s kind of what I was talking about. But yeah, I’m going to just try to be the best player I can be for whoever drafts me and try to fit in in any way that I can.”

Are you happy? Now you can move on from complaining about his hand size and whether he’ll play in Cincinnati and save your unnecessary freak-outs for the fact that he won’t be throwing at the Combine or working out. 

And you can come with your great takes about how that shows he’s not a competitor and not a real warrior, because a real competitor would throw and workout in Indianapolis. And that it means that he has something to hide and that he’s not a leader or franchise quarterback.

And of course, that is a terrible take. One of the all-time worst.

He doesn’t have to throw at the Combine, so why would he throw at the Combine? What does he get out of that? Nothing.

If your take is that he should throw at the combine and that if he doesn’t, he’s a coward that says more about you than it does about him.  

He’s right. He does have the leverage. He can dictate the terms. He could between now and the draft without picking up a football with his tiny hands and still go first: so why the he should he. When he doesn’t have to. He’s got the hammer, he should use it. He’d be stupid not to.

Just like it would be stupid to take anything that’s happened in the last 24 hours involving him and use that against him. If you didn’t already know before, he’s underlined that he’s got what it takes to be a franchise quarterback. 

What I’m saying is, you’ve got to “hand” it to Burrow. He has “handled” every so well in the last day. Give the guy a hand.