A.J. Green is feeling good these days. Physically. Mentally.
The Cincinnati Bengals’ standout wide receiver is ready to have a strong 2019 season after having his 2018 season shortened by a toe injury. Green is also looking forward to doing so with a new offensive-minded head coach in Zac Taylor.
‘I’m ready to get back to work’
“My toe is feeling really, really good and I’m ready to get back to work,” Green told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan during a recent appearance on Movin’ The Chains.
Green sustained the toe injury in Week 8 last year. He sat out the next three games, but after returning in Week 13, he again injured the toe. On Dec. 5, the Bengals placed him on season-ending injured reserve.
‘All the guys are back healthy and I hope we can get this thing rolling’
“It was tough, because of the way we started the season,” said Green, who finished last year with 46 receptions for 694 receiving yards and six touchdowns. “We were top two in scoring offense and we were playing great, and then that Atlanta game, (tight end Tyler Eifert) went down and then after that, I went down. And I came back and (quarterback) Andy (Dalton) went down, so it was real tough because we had a team to really, I feel like, to go to distance.
“It was just tough like that. But all the guys are back healthy and I hope we can get this thing rolling.”
‘Andy is one of the smartest guys I’ve been around’
Green is thrilled to be doing that with Dalton as his quarterback.
“I’m ready to get down the field, like we did in 2015 and ’14, all those big-chunk plays that we had, so I’m ready to get back to that.”
“Andy is one of the smartest guys I’ve been around and the way he can dissect a defense and get the play in, get us in the right play at all times is unbelievable,” the receiver said. “We’re putting in a new offense and he’s picking it up so quick. He’s out there teaching everybody just like Zac. So when I get back in training camp, it’s just like we never left, man. We’re both friends off the field. Our wives work out together, our kids are in the same class. So it’s far more than football that forms this relationship.”
‘I’m very excited for this offense’
Green said working with Taylor gives him the “exact feel” as working with Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden, the Bengals’ former offensive coordinator. In 2007, Taylor spent an offseason and preseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Gruden was an offensive assistant with the team.
“For my first year with Jay, it was a lot of shot plays,” Green said. “Everything’s married off the run. Everything’s lookalike, but we have like different stems, different routes off that same that same concept. But I’m very excited for this offense. I’m ready to get down the field, like we did in 2015 and ’14, all those big-chunk plays that we had, so I’m ready to get back to that.”
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