Cincinnati Bengals star receiver A.J. Green barely missed out on a 1,000-yard season after missing six games in the 2016 season due to injury, but he was still named to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl team to end the year.
Green has long been compared to Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones, and on Thursday's episode of "Undisputed," Green talked to Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe about his friendly rivalry with Jones, what the Bengals have to do to win Super Bowl 52 next year, and whether Marvin Lewis is the right coach in Cincinnati.
A.J. Green explains why he’s picking the Falcons to win Super Bowl LI
"They’re hot right now, and watching Matt Ryan this whole season, it’s unbelievable. With Julio [Jones], Mo Sanu, [Taylor] Gabriel … I think they got too many weapons."
Dale ZanineDale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: Can you make a case you’re better than Julio Jones?
A.J. Green: "Let me say this. Funny thing about me and Julio is that we’ve been compared together since we were in high school, to college, to know. We’re both having great success. He’s playing at an unbelievable level. I respect his game, that’s somebody I watch. Utmost respect, man, but you know I’m going to let y’all debate. I feel like I’m a great receiver, and I know he’s a great receiver."
Matthew EmmonsMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: When these other receivers are on, like a Julio, or a Beckham, or Antonio Brown. Do you watch these guys play other than on game tape?
A.J. Green: "Sometimes. I watch a lot of those receivers in the offseason, when I’ve got more time to break down the film and look at some more stuff that I can [add] to my game. During the season I’m just basically on my game. But in the offseason I check out those guys. They’re tremendous receivers that you can really learn from. And being a student of the game like myself, I look at anything that can make my game better."
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Shannon Sharpe: What do the Cincinnati Bengals need to do to make sure they’re playing in Super Bowl 52?
A.J. Green: "I think… the biggest thing, for me, I’ve got to stay healthy. It wasn’t a great season for being healthy with me. I think we’ve just got to get over the hump, man. We’ve gotta stop shooting ourself in the foot. Gotta make more plays. That’s all that matters. I feel like we’ve got the guys to take us to the next level. Andy [Dalton] and I have been together for a long time, and it’s about time we take that next step to be mentioned with some of the greats."
Aaron DosterAaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: Do you believe Marvin Lewis is the guy that can get you where you want to be?
A.J. Green: "Yeah, of course. I’m a firm believer that coaches don’t play this game. We, as players, play this game, and I never blame a coach. I blame the players. That’s our job to get over the hump. Coach Lewis can always give us the format to get out there and make plays, but we have to make those plays."
David KohlDavid Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: How much better would you be if Matt Ryan was your quarterback?
A.J. Green: "I’m happy with Andy. I love Andy. You know, we have that great chemistry together. I’m so happy to be drafted by the Bengals. Like I said, man, I’m out there just trying to make plays. I don’t care who the quarterback is."
Matthew EmmonsUSA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: So you still believe Andy Dalton could get you guys to a Super Bowl?
A.J. Green: "Of course. Of course. That’s my quarterback. Andy is our guy. I would have nobody else."
Aaron DosterAaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: Which WR is more valuable to their team, Julio Jones or Julian Edelman?
A.J. Green: "I gotta lean toward my boy Julio. Brady, he’s unbelievable. I feel like he can do it with anybody. Julio is just a different cat, a different animal out there."
Winslow TownsonWinslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: Give us your breakdown of Julian Edelman as a receiver
A.J. Green: "I call him like a little Steve Smith. That anger… that little-man syndrome, always pissed off. That’s his game, man. It’s unbelievable. He goes out there and plays every snap his last.
"... When you play in the slot, you’re not playing against the best corner all the time, you know what I mean? It’s a different animal on the outside. It’s a different animal. You’ve got to be a man to play out there."