If Green, 32, doesn’t feel old as a result, the statistics won’t be either, because he has the feeling that he can still play and plans, whether here or elsewhere. He goes into Sunday with career lows of Curtis ’47 catches, 523 yards, 11.1 yards each and two touchdowns and there are a lot of reasons.
Start a fresh offense and rookie quarterback after missing the last season and a half of ankle and toe surgery, on top of a pandemic-cut training schedule. Throw in two more quarterbacks and no prep games.
It sounds like the biggest adjustment for Green between that monster in the first half of 2018, before he was injured. That was better than this entire season (46 catches, 694 yards, six touchdowns at 15.1 yards per year) and 2020 has changed roles in a new plan.
“It was definitely a learning curve for me,” said Green. “I’m used to moving around a lot, putting myself in different positions. But here we have a talented receiving group, so I don’t have to move around a lot. Everything was new to me. I played pretty much X all season Lots of things, lots of routes that I’m not used to.
“Lots of different, little formations that I’m not used to. Usually it’s me who takes me to an island and lets me win or takes me somewhere, lets me run across the field. This year it’s a little different. But hey, that’s the offense, so there’s nothing I can do about it. Like I said, I came to work every day. ”
It will be remembered in the second game of this season 18 that he continued his career as the destroyer of the ravens, hitting them with three touchdowns from three different spots that went from the outside to the slot in the first 17 minutes of the game.
“I’ve been in that game everywhere. That’s how it was then,” said Green.
But instead of resisting, Green gutted it with a captain class. TJ Houshmandzadeh, himself one of the Bengal greats with the best 112 catches in the franchise in 2007, says that having a personality with an equal keel helps make Green great.
“He’s a real 6-4, runs great distances, good hands, good body control. Man, he can put his foot in the ground and walk,” said Houshmandzadeh. “One of his best qualities is his temper. He never gets too high or too low. Aside from that one game against the Jacksonville Jags (when he and Jalen Ramsey were kicked out for fighting), he always takes the same approach.”
Houshmandzadeh admits that he is biased when he says Chad Johnson is the best Bengals receiver ever “because I’ve seen it every day. Nobody was faster than Chad. For a man who was so big and so fast , it was amazing. AJ. Definitely number two. “”