Talks about what’s next after being waived by Bengals
By Chuck Gibson
LOVELAND, OH (August 24, 2022) – He received the text message from Bengal Head Coach Zac Taylor as he was entering the building Tuesday morning. “When you get here, come upstairs,” it said. It was cut day around the NFL and Drew Plitt knew what that meant.
The Loveland native and NFL quarterback signed with his hometown Bengals July 27. After a month of training camp and two NFL preseason game appearances, Plitt received the news he had been waived. Waived is another word for cut in the NFL. It came as no surprise to him despite the success he had in his two preseason game experiences.
“I got the text and I knew what the meeting was going to be about,” said Plitt. “I get this business. It makes sense. Obviously I wish things were different, but it’s what I signed up for. I got the opportunity and I took advantage of it. I can’t be upset about anything that went on.”
From the moment he signed, Plitt was intent on making the most of the opportunity. There’s no question he took advantage when called upon late in the first preseason game.
You’ll recall the excitement of his first series on Friday, August 12, entering the game with about 5 minutes left to play and leading the team on a 76 yard touchdown drive while completing a perfect 6 of 6 passes including his first NFL TD pass. It earned him a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating and a solid place in the hearts of Bengal fans and his hometown followers. Those fans and followers were loud and proud with their support for him on social media following the Bengals “tweet” announcing their roster moves Tuesday including “Waived QB Drew Plitt”.
“The outpouring of support was awesome, from people I don’t even know,” said Plitt. “It’s cool. I’m in that portion of my life where more people see it because of being in the NFL. The outpouring of support gives me a good feeling about what’s to come moving forward.”
Plitt knew where the Bengals stood with having four quarterbacks and Joe Burrow back. He understands the decision to waive him at this point is the nature of the game. Instead of hard feelings, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity.
“No hard feelings, I appreciate them and have the utmost respect for them giving me that chance and opportunity,” he said.
The opportunity for Drew Plitt was not limited to a few repetitions on the practice field in training camp.
There was the touchdown drive versus Arizona and when suddenly thrust into the game against the Giants in the Meadowlands Sunday, August 21, he took four snaps handing off twice and throwing twice completing one of the two passes. Based on his performance in two preseason games, he’s sure to get another opportunity in the NFL. It may even be with the Bengals, but, if not, likely with another NFL team. The waiver process requires patience.
Plitt explained as a player gets cut, waived, or whatever; there are different words for it. Then he’s placed on waivers and available for other teams to pick up for 24 hours after being cut. After that, they’re a free agent available to sign with any team.
“The process now for me with the cut day being yesterday, not many people will sign people who just got cut unless they need somebody or for injury purposes,” said Plitt. “Really the big thing will be next week after the final cut day for P-squads. (Practice Squad) I think that’s my best bet to try to get in somewhere; get my foot in the door is getting on a P-squad, practice squad and basically try to get in that way. We’ll see what happens.”
As final cuts take place, Plitt knows there will be a lot of shifting and moving during that final week. Teams will be setting up their P-squads. It’s likely, Bengals, or not, that’s where his next opportunity will be.
“I’m hopeful,” Plitt said. “I did my part taking advantage of the opportunity going out there playing my best and showing everybody that I’m able to play at this level. I think there’s no doubt about it to me. There’s no doubt about it to anybody that was in that Bengals facility I can play at this level. I have the arm and the mind to be able to go out there play and compete.”
The feedback he received throughout the training camp was all positive. While his practice reps were somewhat limited, Plitt says almost 90% of his reps were key situations. He focused on going in running the offense, being a leader and completing the passes he got when those opportunities came up. That amounted to throwing around 30-40 passes and completing almost 90% of those.
“Talking about taking advantage of the opportunity, that’s what I did,” said Plitt. “Yesterday was hard, but I wasn’t really upset because I knew I did everything I could to get myself to an opportunity that might give me another chance.”
To compete at that level, you have to go in knowing your capable. Plitt knew and made the most of the opportunity to show the Bengals and the rest of the NFL he is capable and belongs. For him, it was just a matter of going out there and playing.
“Wearing a Bengals jersey was kind of a dream come true,” he said.
Make no mistake the dream is not over for Drew Plitt football quarterback. Taking a look back over his last 28 days reveals some very real special moments, not just a dream. On July 27, he sat down and signed a Bengals contract. The day before, he was at his apartment in Carmel, Indiana doing some paperwork for his dad’s company after a workout. He received a call from the Bengals which started with them asking what he was doing. His answer included working out and staying ready. The call ended with “How soon can you be down here?” and “Why don’t you just start heading this way?” He did, they had him throw a few passes next morning just to confirm his arm was still good and he’d been throwing. Then he went inside to sign a contract.
“Signing my first contract was incredible and it being with the Bengals was awesome.” Drew Plitt, former Loveland Tiger, Ball State Cardinals and now Cincinnati Bengals NFL QB
He went straight into a quarterback meeting after signing. First practice was scheduled for the next day. Plitt had not been there for the three months leading up to it and was told he would just have to “learn on the fly.” With coaches focused on the “other” quarterbacks, he was left to pick up what he could on his own. Apparently, he’s a quick study because he said about four days in he was pretty comfortable running anything – about 90% of the offense.
“The other 10% was situational, or code words I was still getting here and there,” he said. “As every day progressed, my confidence got better because I knew what I was doing play-wise. When you know what’s going on play-wise, you play a lot better.”
What was it like just putting on a Bengals jersey?
“It was awesome,” said Plitt. “Wearing the orange and black again, I felt comfortable in it. It felt at home.”
It is hard to explain for the young man who grew up watching the striped helmets of the Cincinnati Bengals. The first time they put the helmet in his locker, he took a picture and sent it to his family with the comment “I finally get to wear one for real.” His brother came down to training camp right away. The whole family came down throughout training camp.
“My brother was so excited,” Plitt said. “I had to let him try it on. Just being from Cincinnati, I’m sure everybody knows it just means more to have those helmets. When you’re able to be from that area and go in and play and wear that uniform, it meant so much more.”
The striped helmet really gave him a special moment, but putting on the #7 Bengals jersey led to a different story for Drew Plitt.
“I didn’t even realize it. My dad said something. I think Boomer Esiason was before I have memory of watching the Bengals,” Plitt explained. “It didn’t strike me at first, but once my dad said something it was a cool thing to be able to wear his number. Typically I’m not an odd number person, but the seven felt pretty good and looked pretty good I felt like. I liked seven. I’m going to have to change that little superstition cause it looks pretty good. Whatever number I get I’ll be happy with.”
It sure looked good on him during the preseason home opener against Arizona Friday, August 12. It was a night where the circumstances played out in his favor giving him a chance. Plitt said he had a sense they would try to get him in the game, but did not know for sure.
“Being on that field, there were a lot of fans, it didn’t really feel like a preseason game,” said Plitt. “It was an unbelievable moment. Being able to do what I did was beyond what I could have imagined.”
Talking to him, you can tell the moment took him beyond his wildest dreams. Drew Plitt made it reality. The reality for him now is doing the things he has to do to stay ready for that call to get back out there whether with the Bengals, or with some other NFL team. He is confident the call will come giving him the chance to keep playing. It is what motivates him to do the work necessary to compete as a professional football quarterback. He admits there is a difference from all the years playing being told what to do, where to do it, eating with the team, watching film, studying the playbook compared to working out on your own with no playbook, no game video to study and planning his own meals.
“Staying mentally involved is more just staying positive, not getting down and keeping track that I’m going to get another shot to do this again,” Plitt said. “I’ve put myself in a situation where I’ll be able to do it again. That’s about all I can do, stay physically ready and when a team calls me just go in there and try to impress like I did with the Bengals.”
Impress is exactly what he did. No, he has not personally been in touch with any team. That is the job of his agent. Plitt says they’ll probably talk daily.
“I’ve talked to my agent and he’s going to do his job,” said Plitt. “Hopefully I put him in a position where he has some leverage. When I hear something, you’ll probably see it. My dad will probably put it on social media or something. Listen, if I get a black and orange uniform again, it would be awesome. At the same time, I’ll be ready to go whoever extends that offer out.”
And your family and fans will be right here ready to support you Drew Plitt on your NFL journey.