On Wednesday, Bengals head coach addressed the local media prior to training camp really kicking off, and one of his biggest points was how excited he was to have A.J. Green back and healthy.
Also, Taylor emphasized how important the example Green sets is for this team.
Zac Taylor on having A.J. Green back this season: "Everything we define as what a Bengal is, A.J. is." Added that A.J. will be a big part of this offense and this team.— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) July 29, 2020
Green missed all of Taylor’s first season with an ankle injury suffered on the first day of training camp. He eventually opted not to rush back, and instead really recover from a bunch of nagging injuries.
The soon to be 31-year-old wide receiver also recently signed his franchise tag tender. This means he will be paid handsomely to play the 2020 season with Cincinnati, but the two sides will have to figure out what a long term deal could look like after the season.
It sounds like with how happy Taylor is to have Green signed for this season that another deal after this year would really be appreciated by the young head coach.
Zac Taylor on getting A.J. Green re-signed: "It's really good to get him under contract and get him back on the field. He's going to be a huge part of this offense and this team."— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) July 29, 2020
The love appears to be mutual. After Week 1 last year, Green talked about how Taylor’s offense could extend his career. That is something that Green has maintained his entire career. He modeled his play after Larry Fitzgerald, who will be 37 before the season, and he seems to still be ready and willing to play.
There is no reason to believe that Green couldn’t adapt his game in the next few seasons to still be able to be a contributor to an offense, and that seems to be something he believes he can do in Cincinnati.
It will be really exciting to potentially see what this offense can actually be. In 2019 the Bengals were blasted with injuries all over the team. Important offensive pieces like Green, Jonah Williams, John Ross and more missed either the entire season of substantial amounts of time due to injuries. The team really seemed to find some footing late in the year when they got Joe Mixon going, but to be able to ride that momentum with all those injured players returning will be huge.
Obviously, most fans are excited about the addition of one Joe Burrow, but it is easy to forget that Taylor is essentially getting a new piece to work with in Green as well. Hopefully Taylor, Burrow and Green are able to wash away any painful memories of the 2019 season away quickly despite the limited practice time.