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Jay Gruden On A.J. Green: Needs To Improve Route Running And Recognizing Coverages

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It's rare for rookie wide receivers to come into this league and make the impression that A.J. Green made. While setting franchise records for yards receiving, Green became the first rookie wide receiver voted into the Pro Bowl since Anquan Boldin in 2003. He's also the Bengals rookie voted into the Pro Bowl since Cris Collinsworth in 1981, joining Isaac Curtis and Lemar Parrish in franchise history.

That being said, he still has a lot of work to do.

Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden spent time with Lance McAlister and Dave Lapham on 700 WLW's Bengals Line Monday night talking about what Green needs to do to continue improving.

"A.J. needs to do a lot," said Gruden. "He's an unquestionable incredibly gifted athlete and he can make the circus catch all of the time. But he needs a lot of work as far as route running versus certain looks. Bump and run coverage, cloud coverage (zone where the cornerback sits in the flats), there's a lot of things he needs to improve on. His releases. Finding holes in the zones. His depth has to be more consistent on his routes, not rounding out of breaks. As far as going up and getting the ball, heck I wouldn't trade him up for anybody. But he does have to improve a lot on his route running."

Green is expected to workout with Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald over the offseason to improve his skills, such as route running. The rookie finished the season with 65 receptions, 1,057 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.