It usually takes more than one year for a player to become a leader, but the Bengals’ situation at receiver has A.J. Green on the fast track.
The oldest Bengals receiver is Jordan Shipley and Brandon Tate has been in the league the longest, but it is hard for a slot receiver or one candidate of many for a starting job to become a team leader. That leaves it to Green, who is the best Bengals receiver as he prepares for his second NFL season.
According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Green is stepping up to the task. He’s mentoring third-round pick Mohamed Sanu at practices and going first in every drill to show his teammates the right way to do things. Green told Reedy he prefers leading that way to being an outspoken presence in the locker room.
“I just want to be that leader that I know I can,” Green said. “I really don’t lead by being vocal, I lead by example. I always want to be the first one in a drill and doing everything to the best of my ability. Some of the young guys can actually come along and watch what I do. Work the same, and we work together and build this team.”
With Andy Dalton also entering his second year, offensive leadership could have been a problem for the Bengals this season. Green’s willingness to take on a more veteran role than his experience might dictate is a good sign that it won’t develop into one in Cincinnati.