Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was on pace to set a career high in receptions last year when a torn hamstring brought his season to an end.
Green spent much of the offseason working with trainers in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the injury problem this year and he’d also like to avoid a repeat of his outsized role in the team’s offense. Green says he doesn’t doubt his ability to carry a heavy load, but prefers it when the Bengals are able to share the wealth as they did in previous seasons.
Green compared it to the way the Falcons ran their offense last year and said he’d like to see himself playing a role similar to the one Julio Jones was able to play in Atlanta.
“Look at the year Julio had,” Green said, via the team’s website. “He was coming off an 1,800-yard season and he had what last year? (1,409). That’s because they put all the weapons around him. He still made the same plays he made when he had the 1,800 yards, but when they double-teamed him they had [Mohamed Sanu] and [Taylor] Gabriel. They’ve got to respect those guys. They went to the Super Bowl and Julio had [1,409] yards. It’s all about what you want. That’s the ultimate goal … to win the championship.”
The Bengals drafted two receivers this year — John Ross and Josh Malone — to go with last year’s rookies Tyler Boyd and Cody Core. Brandon LaFell is also back at wideout while the hope in Cincinnati is that they’ll get more from tight end Tyler Eifert after he missed all of last season. If all falls into place, Andy Dalton should have more places to go with the ball and Green hopes that less of a spotlight on him will lead to better results for the team.