Most prognosticators aren’t expecting a whole lot from the Cincinnati Bengals this season.
You don’t hear them mentioned as a popular pick to win the AFC North or even reach the playoffs as a wild-card.
‘I feel like we have the talent on this team that can take us late in January, early February’
But Bengals standout receiver A.J. Green thinks the rest of the NFL is in for a big surprise.
“I feel like we have the talent on this team that can take us late in January, early February,” Green told Jeff Rickard and Solomon Wilcots during the SiriusXM NFL Radio training camp tour stop at Paul Brown Stadium. “But we’ve got to keep pushing. A lot of people are not giving us a chance, but we know that what we’ve got here is something great. And I think that if we come out here and work every day and get better each week, we’re going to be fine.”
‘Nobody’s giving us any credit right now’
Quarterback Andy Dalton agrees with Green’s optimistic perspective.
“For us, we feel like we’ve got a lot of young talent,” Dalton said. “And, like A.J.’s saying, nobody’s giving us any credit right now. We did finish last year on a high note and we feel like we’ve kind of carried that into the offseason. I feel like, with learning the new offense, learning the new stuff that we’ve had to, I feel like guys have picked up on it well and we’re excited to surprise some people this year.”
The Bengals made sweeping changes to their offense. Much of training camp has been spent learning the scheme of new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who replaced Ken Zampese in the role after two games last season.
‘We’ve just got to get back to playing the best football at the end of the year’
“Just for us it’s getting the new calls down, making sure that we know the offense and the guys that are back know the offense the way we knew the last one and just to be quick with making calls,” Dalton said. “I think for us, we’ve been in that (previous) offense for seven years, so we knew it like the back of our hand. We’re still the same guys. I still understand how (Green) runs routes, I think he still understands what we expect and, so, we’re always going to have that.
“The biggest thing is the stuff is new. There’s a lot of new coaches, there’s obviously a new offense, new defense and stuff just feels new. I think it’s a refresher for us and I think, at the end of the day, we’ve just got to get back to playing the best football at the end of the year.”
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