Watching training camp videos are always fun; added confirmation that the NFL lockout is over for Bengals fans, who arguably endured one of the worst offseasons in franchise history (especially true if you don't factor the free agency blitz during the previous two weeks). On Friday the team ran a not-really-scrimmage with the offense squaring off against the defense. A majority of the passes were quick, out of the quarterback's hands before the rush could get there. Wide receiver A.J. Green recorded another highlight Friday night, sprinting along the left hashmarks absolutely uncovered, stretching out in a dive to haul in an overthrown Andy Dalton pass, who was blitzed by safety Chris Crocker.
As Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer points out, Green is impressing his Bengals teammates and coaching staff.
“When you see 1-on-1 with AJ, it’s going to trigger something in you to take a shot down there,” Dalton said. “He’s making outstanding catches. He’s going up, he’s making diving catches, he’s doing it all. It might not always be in the right spot, but he can go get it.”
“We haven’t had many come in here as talented as he is,” Hall said. “He’s been doing great and I’m really excited to see how he does in the preseason and then going to Cleveland for that first game.”
I'll readily admit promoting cornerback Patrick Peterson before the NFL Draft, suspecting that the team would lose Johnathan Joseph and be faced with the need to sign Leon Hall to an extension; something I'm very suspicious of happening with this team, even though they reportedly value Hall greater than Joseph.
That being said, the more we watch Green, the more our pre-draft debate fades. Green has the talent to be a great receiver in Cincinnati, the perfect target for a rookie quarterback in Andy Dalton. Provided he doesn't fall flat on his face -- which no one expects -- the debate for what to do at cornerback next year won't be subjected to what the team should have done during the 2011 NFL Draft.