Aug 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green (18) looks toward the fans during the pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-US PRESSWIRE
A.J. Green went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie last season. Did Green quit working hard and and declare himself as "arrived"? If you know the personality of Green, you already know the answer to that. Green spent this past summer in Atlanta with the best of the best, Calvin Johnson. The only problem was that Johnson, a former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, did not allow Green, the former Georgia Bulldog, to wear red. Green did not see this as much of an issue, he just wanted to work with "Megatron". Green and Johnson were no alone while working out. Georgia Tech trainer John Sisk said that there was a rotating group of 22 NFL players that would spend time at the Georgia Tech facility. The group included Matthew Stafford, Chad Johnson, and Ronnie Brown. The players would come in at around 10 a.m. and leave at 1 p.m, Sisk was impressed with Green and all of the players that came through the facility:
"All those guys that came here, they were very respectful, respected our facility and athletes and coaches," Sisk said. "For our guys to see how hard they work, that does a lot of things for us. It worked real well. Talking to them, picking their brains, gaining some insight on how they stay sharp -- and then we can use that for our kids. I like having players come back and train with us, I think it's important. I like that we have an open-door policy."
Johnson said that he had a good time helping Green out. He tutored Green in fundamentals and technique:
"[I like] taking the coach's position and being able to coach them up," Johnson said. "Taking the things that I've learned since I've been in the league. Though I might not be able to do everything perfectly, I know how to coach it up because I've been coached since I've been here the last five years."
Green wants to be the best in the game, so he has studied different aspects of some of the better receivers in the game. That includes the way that Larry Fitzgerald runs his routes, the way that Steve Johnson releases, and the way that Calvin Johnson goes up to get the ball in the air. That is not the only thing that Green admires about the Madden cover player:
"Just the way (Johnson) works, man," Green said. "Just the way he goes about his business, the way he's stayed humble and kept his head down. He leads by example. "I just want to go out there and win," Green said.
I think I can speak for many Bengals fans when I say that we are blessed to have Green on our team.