Josh Malone is primed for a breakout season. Although the team’s No. 4 receiver, injury may make Malone of the team’s go-to targets to open up the season.
At the very least, Malone will get to show of the flashes of brilliance in the preseason that those attending training camp have already seen. Malone has been taking first-team reps while at camp with both A.J. Green and John Ross out.
Green is likely going to at least miss the team’s opening game while Ross should be a go for that competition. As for Malone, he should be able to take his game to the next level despite those in front of him.
Malone, the third-year receiver from Tennessee, has yet to make a real impact on the Bengals through his first two seasons, securing a mere seven catches. However, he’s looking to change that as the window for opportunity continues to open wider.
Bengals.com writer Michael LaPlaca caught up with both Josh Malone and Zac Taylor, penning exactly what’s changed for the young receiver.
“My workout routine this past offseason was more detailed and rigid to focus on my game and what I just needed to improve on,” Malone said. “I’ve taken everything that I have worked on and brought it to training camp and want to bring it into the season.”
The 6-foot-3 receiver has been putting on a show at camp which has, in turn, caught the attention of rookie head coach Zac Taylor. Taylor commented on the 23-year-old and praised his consistency.
“Josh has been more consistent (during training camp) than he was in the spring,” said head coach Zac Taylor. “We told those guys it’s still early in camp. You’re consistent now, you’re making good impressions, but we’re asking you to keep that up through these games. We can’t see a drop-off. There’s a lot of competition at those receiver spots and these guys all know it.”
The Bengals will open up the regular season against a tough Seattle defense in CenturyLink Field. For Malone, this could be one of his biggest chances to showcase his improved speed, size and quickness.
He’s got their attention. Now, he’s just got to do perform similarly on the highest, most intense level.