Green said bucking that three-year trend was unintentionalbut entirely achievable.
"I don't listen to all that that it takes you whatever [number of years to develop]," Green said. "I feel like if you are willing to work [and] you're ready to put in the time to be great, who says you can't come out there and have a great season your first year? So that's what I did."
"On the other side of that, you have guys like Randy Moss and A.J. Green who came in and physically, these guys are so good that it wasn't a hurdle that they really had to overcome," the former
Last season was an eye-opening experience for Green, who led all rookies in catches (65) and receiving yards (1,057), ranked second among first-year players in touchdown receptions (seven), and tied with the
"No matter where you are on the field, he can score," Webb said. "He can catch the ball no matter who is on him and no matter how many are on him. He's like a mini Megatron or something."
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"I think tall guys sometimes lose a little bit of the art of running routes because it's harder for them to get in and out of their breaks," said Ismail, a former Ravens wide receiver. "But I think he's right on pace because he's a good, strong route runner, which says an awful lot about him because he didn't have other guys to learn from at that position. But he's put himself in a position to set himself up for success."
That success can also be a target, according to Allen who said opposing defenses will pay more attention to Green and look for vulnerabilities or strategies to render him ineffective.
"The coordinators, the defensive back coaches and the players are going to be more aware of where he is in certain situations and they're not going to allow him to line up and play man-to-man," Allen said. "They're always going to have a linebacker running underneath him or have a corner press him with a safety on top. If you're smart, you're always going to try to make him to avoid one or two defenders before he can get to his comfort zone."
One of the few opponents that denied Green much enjoyment last season was the Ravens. After he sat out the first meeting on Nov. 20 due to a hyperextended right knee, Green was limited to just two catches for 26 yards in the rematch on Jan. 1.
"I think we just went out and did what we did," cornerback
Because of the bar that has been set, there's some concern that Green may not duplicate last year's numbers. But if that's the case, Bengals coach
"Nothing A.J. does surprises the people who watch him every day, and there's every reason to believe he'll be better this year," Lewis told the Cincinnati media. "This is not a guy you worry about having a sophomore slump."
Green said he's not worried about his numbers from last season. The only thing that matters is performing this season.
"I don't feel like I have anything to prove," he said. "I am just going out there and playing my game. Whenever the ball is thrown at me, I'm going to try to make the play."