Wide receiver A.J. Green is receiving a little heat for a play made during Cincinnati's 24-19 win over the San Diego Chargers. Keep in mind the situation: Cincinnati is maintaining a 17-13 lead with 8:58 remaining in the fourth, entering the red zone for an all-important score that would extend Cincinnati's lead to two scores. It's second and goal from the four-yard line and the call is a wide receiver screen to Green.
Mohamed Sanu had an assignment to crack down on cornerback Jason Verrett. Left tackle Clint Boling, navigating to vicinity, would pick up any stragglers while Green looped around.
It didn't work out as planned. Instead Verrett dove underneath Sanu's block and nearly intercepted the football. It appeared that Green didn't bother fighting for the football.
It should be noted that Green slipped during his break while linebacker Melvin Ingram put a hand on the pass, deflecting it every so slightly. Was this an issue of Green conceding the play or not having enough time to react?
Either way, Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson wasn't pleased.
"It's as simple as that: There's the ball," Jackson said via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "See ball, get ball. It's just what we do. I think the mindset of how we go about things is starting to change, and it has to continue to change as we ratchet this thing up as we keep going."
Green, who inked a four-year extension with $60 million of new money, is third on the team with eight receptions and second with 108 yards receiving.
"Yes I have," Jackson said when asked if he had spoken to Green. "I don't miss anything. We need to continue to grow. We're not there yet. We're still a work in progress. But it's fun to have a lot of work to do and be 2-0. To have a lot of work to do and have some of the success we have had. Because what you're selling, guys buy. It makes sense. So we'll just keep chugging away at it and continue to get better."
On the other hand, Green, who secured three receptions for 48 yards on Sunday, also had a gorgeous touchdown reception with 12:58 remaining in the first quarter. Just watch his feet.