A.J. Green spent the majority of his decade in Cincinnati as The Man, racking up 1,000-yard receiving seasons and seven straight Pro Bowls to open his career.
After signing a one-year contract in Arizona this offseason, Green will now play alongside another alpha receiver in DeAndre Hopkins. Pairing two star receivers could create issues for other clubs. But Green and Hopkins — who they are as players — get along swimmingly.
During a recent interview on On The Fly with Lisa Matthews, Green said that he’s thrilled to play alongside a talent like Hopkins.
“I never played with a guy like D-Hop. The guy is unbelievable, man,” Green said, via Cards Wire. “He embraced me. We don’t have egos. He’s telling me, like if you want to run a route and I’m at that position just let me know.’ So, you have a guy like that, two guys like that in a room it’s going to be unbelievable. And we feed off each other.”
No disrespect to Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Andrew Hawkins, Dane Sanzenbacher, and all the other Bengals receivers Green played alongside over the years. Hopkins is a generational-type talent. Stars like Green and Hopkins usually only play together in All-Star games.
The big question in Arizona is whether Green can get back to his old self. Injury wiped out half of his 2018 campaign and forced him to miss all of 2019. Last year in his return, he struggled, earning a career-low 523 yards on 47 catches despite seeing 104 targets. His 45.2 catcher percent was last among all pass-catchers.
Green believes he’ll be rejuvenated in his move to Arizona alongside Hopkins and with Kyler Murray at quarterback.
“It’s not just D-Hop and (me). It’s just the whole offense,” he said. “You know (with) what K1 can do back there and C-Kirk (receiver Christian Kirk), you’re going to have to pick your poison on game day on Sundays.”
Green added that the chance to win a championship was a deciding factor in his decision to move to Arizona.
“The potential of this team,” he said. “I’ve been in Cincinnati so long I don’t know anything else. So for me getting a chance to get out, it’s all about winning and about being in a great environment. And I think Arizona was the perfect situation. They have young guys. They’re building this defense. They have a young quarterback. And I think I fit in well over here with D-Hop.”
If Green stays healthy and gets back to his dominant self, the Cards offense could be lethal. If the 32-year-old continues to break down, most of the load will return to Hopkins and Kirk. Second-round pick Rondale Moore also brings speed and playmaking to a group of receivers with high upside in Arizona.
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