A.J. Green is quickly ascending the Bengals’ record books and should, in a few years, or at his pace, in a few games’ time lead the franchise in a number of receiving categories.
Green is not only a star on the Bengals, but one of the NFL’s best players. And, the man who owns many of the Bengals’ receiving records, none other than Chad Johnson, acknowledged the success of his fellow Bengals receiver, who currently leads the NFL in yards and receptions this year.
“To me he’s the greatest (Bengals receiver) of all time because he can do things I wasn’t able to do,” Johnson told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com after Green’s 121 yard effort against the Redskins in London. “High-point the ball. And he’s a much more consistent pass catcher than I was.”
Johnson played 151 games in Bengals stripes and in the process from 2001 to 2010 recorded 751 catches for 10,783 yards and 66 touchdowns. All three of those stats are all-time Bengals records, and the next closest record holder isn’t close in any category but touchdowns (Carl Pickens had 63).
Green has only been in the league for five and a half years, playing in 58 games, but he’s on pace to break just about every receiving record in franchise history. So far, he has 474 receptions for 7,067 yards and 48 touchdowns. Green is currently playing on a deal that has him locked up in Cincinnati through the 2019 NFL season, at which point he’ll be 31-years-old. That gives him at least three and a half more seasons to break the records Johnson holds. But, the former Bengals great has no problem with that.
“Records are made to be what?” Johnson asked Hobson. And when told the answer is “broken,” he replied, “Exactly. Exactly. Exactly.”
“What better player would you want to break your record?” Johnson asked. “Someone like that. The dude is pure class and plays the way the game should be played at receiver.”
Green’s wife, Miranda, acknowledged as much on Tuesday, her birthday, on Instagram.
Just taking this moment to cheer for my husband! ...Headed into his bye week as the leading receiver. He's often slept on because he simply does his job and never seeks any attention. I haven't been able to attend any games this year because I've been holding it down at home while he's on the field... Proud of you, baby. @ajgreen_18 you make every day feel like my birthday.
"He's often slept on because he simply does his job and never seeks and attention," Miranda wrote.
And, that couldn’t be more true. Green is as humble as it gets not only when it comes to NFL players, but human beings. You never hear him boast or put down his competition. Even after an intensely heated battle with Josh Norman in London, Green had only good things to say about the cornerback he went up against who was flagged excessively for poking and prodding Green, play after play. “He’s just a competitor. He’s fine,” Green said when asked if Norman was talking trash during the game.
Norman, much unlike Green, complained and carried on about the referees after the game was over, much like a baby. “Yeah, who's 88? I've just got to know. Who is the official 88? He sucked,” Norman said. He didn’t acknowledge Green in his post-game press conference.
Johnson was never one to complain about the officials during his time in Cincinnati. He was a lover, not a hater. “The officials and I are always friends,” he told Hobson. But, Johnson, who went by “Ochocinco” for some of his time in Cincinnati, knows he and Green have very different personalities.
“We’re totally opposite as far as personality goes,” Johnson says. “But he gets the job done. He gets the job done.”
Johnson was known for his touchdown celebrations and big mouth, two things that Green has certainly never made a name for himself by doing. For Green, it’s all about his on-the-field play.
“It’s hard for me to evaluate him off the TV because I’m not there every day and he’s been so consistent with his numbers and catches during his career. So it’s hard for me to say how he’s improved,” Johnson said. “But I’m sure there are some intangible we can’t see off the TV view.”