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Thread: A.J. Green senses new 'vibe' from Bengals, retained coach Marvin Lewis

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    A.J. Green senses new 'vibe' from Bengals, retained coach Marvin Lewis

    A.J. Green senses new 'vibe' from Bengals, retained coach Marvin Lewis


    May 2, 2018 9:35am EDTMay 2, 2018 9:23am EDTNOPOPUPMaybe Cincinnati keeping Marvin Lewis was wise, after all. A.J. Green says the coach is challenging Bengals players like it's his first year on the job, and the star wideout loves what he sees.

    A.J. Green(Getty Images)


    Alex Marvez

    Published on May. 2, 2018


    Three years after making a major dietary change, A.J. Green feels so strongly about the supplement he now uses (Rockin' Protein) that the star Bengals wide receiver has become a company spokesman.

    "Unlike other (products), this doesn't give you a real full feeling," Green told Sporting News during a telephone interview Tuesday. "It tastes great and sits well in my stomach."

    The same couldn't be said of Cincinnati's 2017 season for Green, the rest of the franchise or a downtrodden fan base that is gassed from supporting a club without a playoff win for 27 seasons and counting.

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    The best hope of ending that drought came around the same time Green first began gulping his milk-based shakes. The 2015 Bengals were minutes away from posting a first-round win over the archrival Steelers before an epic meltdown from which Cincinnati still hasn't recovered.

    The slide continued last year with the Bengals never getting above .500 before being eliminated from postseason contention. It appeared coach Marvin Lewis had finally run out of time to get that elusive playoff win after 16 seasons on the job.

    As it turned out, he'll get a 17th.

    When explaining the surprising decision to retain Lewis with a two-year extension, Bengals owner Mike Brown said he was impressed by how Cincinnati played in its final two games under such difficult circumstances. Rather than folding, the Bengals ruined the playoff hopes of the Lions and Ravens with impressive victories.

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    To Brown, that showed Lewis hadn't lost the ability to reach his players or lost the passion for the job he'd had in earlier seasons. Green seemed to agree.

    "We didn't have those couple of games we needed to get in the playoffs, but in those last two games, we played unbelievable," Green said. "We're trying to carry that momentum into this year."

    And, per Green, it's Lewis himself who is getting the ball rolling.

    Green says Lewis is challenging players in a fashion that feels like it's his first season on the job.

    "The whole vibe is different," said Green, who is entering his eighth NFL season. "There are a lot of new (assistant) coaches. Players are being held accountable.

    "You feel like these guys are hungry."

    Bill Lazor will be entering his first full season as Cincinnati's offensive coordinator after assuming the role in Week 3 last season following Ken Zampese's firing. Lazor's philosophy could result in Green breaking out from the least productive two-year stretch of his career.

    "He knows players' strengths and weaknesses," said Green, who, by his high standards, is coming off a modest 75-catch, 1,074-yard campaign. "It's putting players where they need to be to get the ball into the playmakers' hands. That's all he's preaching."

    Green might not be the only one who fits the classification. He believes fellow wideout John Ross is set for a breakout year following a washout as the No. 9 overall pick in last year's draft.

    "He's got his confidence back," Green said. "The way he's working this offseason is unbelievable. He's healthy and explosive again."

    Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton should have an easier time connecting with Green, Ross and others now that Cincinnati has bolstered its offensive line with the addition of center Billy Price, the team's first-round pick from Ohio State, and the acquisition of left tackle Cordy Glenn in a trade with the Bills.

    "Last year, the line wasn't a strong point," Green admits. "Getting (Price) and Cordy really beefs up the line. Everything for us starts up front. Last year, Andy was getting a lot of pressure. This is really going to help us out with the running game and the big plays downfield that we didn't really have last year."

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    To try to produce more of those big plays, Green is doing more than consuming Rockin' Protein. He's rolling through Cincinnati's OTA sessions, which will be followed later this summer by what he calls an "old-school Walter Payton-style" workout program in Atlanta that features hill-running and traditional lifts like squats and power cleans.

    Such work pays dividends; Green is still regarded as one of the game's great talents as his 30th birthday looms in July.

    "I still go hard up until training camp comes so when it does start I can just breeze through it," Green said.

    Green must now hope the winds of change remain strong from this offseason. Otherwise, another season will end with a bellyache that won't easily go away.



    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news...f1u9xx43g2v5yj





  2. #2
    Green On Bengals Offseason Thus Far, ROY Picks

    Bengals WR A.J. Green talks to Adam Schefter about his career thus far, Cincinnati's draft class, his pick for Rookie of the Year in 2018 and much more.

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