Hue Jackson is making his goal for the Cincinnati Bengals is clear before they even hit the field for OTAs Tuesday.
He's stated how Andy Dalton needs to be 'great' if the Bengals are to advance further in the playoffs this coming season.
However, Jackson knows that Dalton getting better isn't the only thing this team needs to get to a Super Bowl. Though many regard A.J. Green as one of the game's best receivers, he too is being singled out by Jackson as someone who needs to take the next step for this team to be great.
"I want A.J. to take it to a whole different level. I want A.J. and Marvin (Jones) and that receiver group to play uncommon football like you’ve never seem," Jackson said, via Bengals.com. "That’s just my vision after coaching the position.
"Coach (James) Urban does a great job. A.J.’s has had one of the most historic first three years this league has ever seen. And he is that player. He is everything I thought he was and more. But I think there’s more in there. I think there’s a lot more in there."
It's hard to ask more of Green, who's already caught more passes (260) than any other player in NFL history during their first three seasons.
This past season, Green set career highs in receptions (98) and receiving yards (1,426, second-most total in Bengals history), while also scoring 11 touchdowns. He had six 100-yard games, including a franchise record five in a row.
Jackson wants more.
"My challenge to him is, why not be the best? Why not be the best this league has ever seen? Because he has the ability to be that. And when they talk about A.J. Green, I want people to be talking about one of the greatest ever. Because he is and he has that.
"He’s got to set out every day to prove that because I think he’s that kind of player."
That's what this team has been lacking for too long. Whether the offensive coordinator was Bob Bratkowski or Jay Gruden, and whether the player was Chad Johnson or Carson Palmer, Bengals offense players have been babied for far too long.
It doesn't sound like Hue's tolerating that any more with the offense. By demanding more from Green ,that sends a clear message to everyone else to step up their game or let the guy behind him do so.