A.J. Green will be back very soon. And when he is, he might be receiving the least amount of attention from opposing defenses since 2015, when the Cincinnati Bengals were a legitimate contender.
Says who, you ask? Says Green.
“I think this is the most loaded the receiver has been since 2015. We have a stacked offense,” he said.
And, really, it makes complete sense. We all know what Tyler Boyd can do over the middle, what speedster John Ross can do when healthy, and what Auden Tate can do when given opportunities. Add rookie Tee Higgins into the mix, and Green will perhaps be facing fewer double teams than ever.
More importantly, Green is extremely confident in the ability of the guy responsible for utilizing all those weapons. “He’s going to be great for the next 15 years,” he said. “Joe is going to be a great one.”
Burrow, though, hasn’t gotten the chance to work with his top pass catchers all that much, as Green, Ross, and Higgins have all missed time with either injuries or personal matters. So the rookie has taken the opportunity to develop chemistry with Tate, C.J. Uzomah, and Mike Thomas.
In the past two practice, Uzomah and Thomas have made some huge plays for the franchise QB. On Wednesday, Burrow hit Uzomah and Thomas on the sidelines on his first two passes. Then, with nine seconds left, he hit Thomas on a quick out route before finding Uzomah over the middle for a touchdown. On Thursday, Burrow found Uzomah for a TD on a back-shoulder throw and connected with Thomas on a corner route for another score.
This is precisely what a franchise QB does— he works with what he has and gets it done regardless of the weapons around him. While it would be nice to have a receiving corps as loaded as 2015, the reality is, it is very difficult to maintain that kind of talent. What the great have done - like Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and even Peyton Manning - is elevate the play of their skillplayers, make good receivers look like great ones. If that’s what Burrow can do, then Green is right about that as well— Burrow should be great for the next 15 years.