Bengals WR A.J. Green refuses to call himself elite

Andy Lyons

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green doesn't choreograph touchdowns, nor will he call himself elite.

As fans, we were shocked.

Having already conditioned ourselves with the childish (though fun-loving back in the day) Chad Johnson and the temperament of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Green arrived to complicate our beliefs. Wide receivers are divas, self-righteous with an opinion of themselves greater than what it should be.

Other than being ridiculously talented and athletic, Green has displayed this humble personality that we didn't expect.

During an interview in 2011 following the NFL draft, Green was asked a series of questions about Carson Palmer. His responses are summarized as "it's out of my control." When Green made the Pro Bowl during his rookie year, he deflected it with an all-consuming desire to reach the playoffs.

Who is this guy? Where are the gold teeth, cheerleader proposals, and personal fouls with outrageous touchdown celebrations? Where is the receiver with ridiculous demands?

"All I can do is come there and do my best, and we'll see what happens."

Well, that's just boring. And that's the best thing that could have happened to Cincinnati.

Clark Judge with CBSSports.com refuses to listen to Green's rejection about being elite.

"No," Green told Judge, "I'm not there yet. This is only my third year, and I have a lot more learning to do. The biggest thing at this position is consistency -- to keep getting better each year and don't regress -- and that's my goal. I've been in the league two years so I still have a lot of time. When I get to Year Six, maybe then I can say I'm one of those receivers."

Judge writes:

So why doesn't he realize he's kind of special, too? Answer: Because that's not A.J. Green. He is reluctant to endorse himself and is less likely to draw attention to himself. He doesn't salsa in the end zone. He doesn't mock defenders. And he hasn't punctuated a touchdown by proposing to a cheerleader.

"That's not me," he said. "I just go out and play football. One of the greatest basketball players to ever play is Tim Duncan, and you don't hear him. But you can see what he does on the court. So that's one of the things I look at. I'm just going to go out there and play football, and you all [the media] can be the judge of that."

Well, that's just boring.

And awesome.

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