CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 12: Mohamed Sanu #12 of the Cincinnati Bengals works out during a rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 12, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The first week of OTAs has concluded, with fans eagerly awaiting any news, pictures, and videos of the new-look Cincinnati Bengals. We've talked extensively about the position battles at cornerback and wide receiver, and now there's more news to add to the mix, with a lot of praise for rookie wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
From Dan Hoard's blog on Bengals.com, superstar wide receiver A.J. Green already loves what he's seen in Mohamed Sanu this week.
"Man, that guy is smooth," said Green. "He works the middle really well. A lot of people have questioned his speed, but the guy has 'football speed'. It's just like myself. A lot of people say that he didn't run the fastest, but you see him on the field and he's fluid in-and-out of his breaks, he catches everything with his hands, and he attacks the ball. He’s going to be a special one."
Lack of elite speed seemed to be the only negative in A.J. Green's game, coming out of Georgia last year, but Green easily took the top off defenses in his rookie season, outrunning cornerbacks for huge vertical plays and touchdowns.
A very similar criticism exists for Mohamed Sanu, who scouts believe can work the middle of the field easily, but doesn't possess top-end speed to blow by defensive backs on deep routes. Sanu ran a slow 4.67 second forty -ard dash this year at the combine, and experts feared he wouldn't be able to separate at the NFL level, despite his prolific 115-catch season. But, Green doesn't see the criticism, saying that Sanu "can stretch the field".
"I’m telling you – a lot of the older guys here compare him to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.," said Green. "He can stretch the field and I think he’s really going to help us out this year."
Green's partner-in-crime Andy Dalton is equally excited about the rookie third round receiver, whom he calls a "friendly target".
"I’m excited," said quarterback Andy Dalton. "He’s definitely showing some good things out there, and once he gets a good feel for everything, I think he’s going to be a good player for us. He has a bigger body and he has some shiftiness to him. And he does a good job of coming back to the ball. You can tell that he’s done some of the things that we’re asking him to do before," said Dalton. "He’s a friendly target out there."