Dalton-to-Green highlight of Bengals scrimmage
The best play of the night? A.J. Green made it, of course.
That’s happening almost every day now in Bengals camp.
Green made a diving catch along the sideline during an 11-on-11
drill Friday night, a prelude to Cincinnati’s scaled-back training
It was the crowd pleaser.
”When you see one-on-one (coverage) with A.J., it’s going to
trigger something in you to take a shot down there,” rookie
quarterback Andy Dalton said. ”He’s a big guy, he’s physical and
he can make a lot of catches.”
He’s making the spectacular ones look routine.
The Bengals took Green with the fourth overall pick out of
Georgia, giving themselves a replacement for Chad Ochocinco. They
traded Ochocinco to New England for draft picks, making the rookie
their primary receiver.
He’s playing the part so far.
During an 11-on-11 drill against the starting defense, Dalton
was under pressure and simply threw the ball deep down the left
sideline, hoping Green could catch up to it. The receiver stretched
out and came down with the ball while landing hard inbounds –
easily the best play of the night.
It excited the fans. The coaches? Not so much.
”Every time he lands on the ground I’m like, `Oh, please, don’t
hurt your shoulder,”’ offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said.
”He’s a special guy. He’s fun to watch. Every time I see someone
lined up on him kind of 7 or 8 yards deep, I feel like yelling at
the quarterback, `Throw it to A.J.!”’
Green didn’t make a big deal out of it.
”It was a good catch,” he said. ”Not one of my best. I can do
that pretty much nine times out of 10. It’s nice making a big play
in front of my teammates.”
How could it have been better?
”I probably could have scored on it,” he said. ”I probably
should have stayed up and tried to run through it, but I chose to
dive. I was a little tired.”
The rest of the night was more humdrum by design.
The Bengals severely scaled back the annual camp scrimmage
because many of the players had practiced only once. Free agents
couldn’t work out with the team until Thursday because the NFL’s
new labor agreement wasn’t approved until then.
Usually, the Bengals give the ball to the offense and see how
far it can advance on downs. This time, they did only about 15
minutes of scrimmaging, running 18 plays in all from midfield.
Unlike previous years, nobody kept statistics.
Dalton, a second-round pick from TCU, is getting the first shot
at the starting job. He worked with the starting unit and got the
most snaps of the four quarterbacks during the scrimmage part of
Dalton has run most of the plays throughout camp, learning a
little more of the offense each day.
”Andy had another great day,” Gruden said. ”He was efficient
on third-down (plays), had some key completions, got the ball out
of his hand when he had to. He’s doing a good job of managing the
game so far.”
He’s in line to start the preseason opener next Friday in
”They’ve been giving me a lot of snaps, giving me the
opportunity to go out there and start everything off,” Dalton
said. ”I think they’re just trying to get me ready, get me looks
against the defense, and hopefully getting me ready for the
preseason game next week.”