Found July 16, 2012 on 60 Max Power O:

This is the second edition of my new Sunday column, where I talk about the most interesting/controversial stories of the week and put my spin on them. Last week, I defended against the criticisms on Andy Dalton's arm strength, talked about the big differences between BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Cedric Benson, and covered the in-game stadium experiences that the NFL is hoping to implement this year. As I said last week, I like to put an analytical, statistical spin on things, so here we go!

+ A.J. Green was recently ranked by film guru Greg Cosell as the fifth best wide receiver in the NFL. In the comments of the article, and even in discussions among Bengals fans, some feel that Green did not deserve the spot.

// ><!-- //--><! <![CDATA[// ><!-- //--><! <p> They have a point, but only if you base your rankings on past numbers alone. Green had 65 receptions for 1057 yards and 7 touchdowns as a rookie. Among all wide receivers in the league, that only ranked 15th best in reception yards, 23rd best in number of receptions, and tied for 18th in touchdowns.</p> <p> Definitely not close to top 5.</p> <p> But the tape tells a different story. One of a physical freak, with no major weaknesses in his game, and a lot of broken records in the future.</p> <p> Said of Cosell of Green:</p> <blockquote><p> Size matters. That leads to A.J. Green at No 5. He’s almost 6-foot-4 and 211 pounds. He does not look that big on film. He has elements of <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/3332/randy-moss">Randy Moss</a> as a vertical receiver, with his long fluid stride, his excellent body control and leaping ability, and his soft hands. Green, much like <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/2728/andre-johnson">Andre Johnson</a>, moves like a smaller man. But he’s a smoother, more elegant athlete, a glider with deceptive separation and acceleration. His ease of movement belies his explosiveness. This year marks is his first real NFL offseason, and I would expect Green to improve significantly, particularly at the small details of the position, like beating press coverage. There’s no question Green has an elite skill set with his combination of size, movement and hands. So it’s no surprise that he’s already in the conversation regarding the league’s top wide receivers.</p> </blockquote> <p> Cosell hits the nail on the head with every point he made. It's Green's "eilte skill set" that puts him in conversation with the best wide receivers in the league right now. Fans made cases for <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/2545/wes-welker">Wes Welker</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/1192/roddy-white">Roddy White</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/1956/greg-jennings">Greg Jennings</a>, and others over A.J. Green. Based on statistics, they would be right.</p> <p> But, what general manager in the league would rather have Wes Welker on his team than A.J. Green? Green brings an elite deep threat ability, but he can also play every receiving spot on the field. Green can work the slot, both outside positions, and be successful on end arounds and reverses. Green can go deep, Green can go short, Green can go across the middle.</p> <p> He does a have a few small weaknesses (such as technique and penalties), which I addressed <a href="http://www.cincyjungle.com/2012/7/12/3148498/bengals-2012-training-camp-position-preview-wide-receivers-pt-i">in the training camp preview for wide receivers</a>, but those are far from major problems, and can easily be fixed with repetition and time.</p> <p> What he showed on tape last year basically eliminates the possibility that Green could be a one year wonder. The only way that could happen, is if injuries should strike. But, Green doesn't have a long injury history.</p> <p> And, as far as that numbers argument goes, he'll probably win that side of the argument too in 2012. For what it's worth, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio<a href="http://www.cincyjungle.com/2012/7/14/3157795/profootballtalks-a-j-green-prediction-for-2012"> recently said that "1500 yards and 15 touchdowns is realistic"</a> for <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/131126/a-j-green">A.J. Green's</a> sophomore season. I went with a far more conservative estimate, projecting 1200 yards and 9 touchdowns, but obviously I'd be happy with either.</p> <p> The biggest thing working against Green right now is the fact that defenses will be keying in on Green in every game. You really can't leave Green alone in a one on one situation. Until the rest of the wide receivers/ tight ends step up and show that they deserve some attention too, Green will get double coverage.</p> <p> <u><b>+</b></u> That brings me to my next point, which is the concept of the wide receivers by committee. <a href="http://www.cincyjungle.com/2012/7/7/3143162/bengals-receiver-by-committee-idea-gaining-steam">We said earlier this week</a> that the committee concept, <a href="http://www.cincyjungle.com/2012/5/16/3022668/receiving-by-committee-a-different-look-at-the-bengals-receiver-cincinnati-binns-green-sanu-jones">first written about by our Joe Goodberry</a> back in May, is gaining steam. With the talent on the team at wide receiver, no one stands head and shoulders above the rest, and each one brings a different, unique skill set. <b>That's why they will probably go wide receiver by committee this year</b>.</p> <p> Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson wrote this telling little paragraph about offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden's expectations for <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/131135/armon-binns">Armon Binns</a> and <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/71180/brandon-tate">Brandon Tate</a>, who are apparently neck and neck for the starting spot so far.</p> <blockquote><p> If it is going to be running back by committee, it sounds like Green's supporting cast is also going to be a group effort. Tate has never caught a ball as a Bengal and Binns has never taken a NFL snap, but offensive coordinator Jay Gruden came out of the spring talking about how Tate possesses stretch-the-field speed and the rangy 6-3, 210-pound Binns stretches to make those tough possession catches.</p> </blockquote> <p> I agree wholeheartedly. Brandon Tate is the second best non-AJ-Green deep threat on the team, and that's why I think he has a very good shot of making the team. To draw the safeties away from Green, you need a guy streaking down the field who can gain separation and catch the ball. Brandon Tate is that guy. He's never been asked to do much as a receiver, but he can definitely be a good deep threat. He averaged an insanely high 20.2 yards/reception in college. In his only time at wide receiver in the NFL, he averaged 18.0 yards per catch. A.J. Green, one of the best deep threats in the league, averaged only 16.3 yards/reception last year.</p> <p> Of course, Tate's average is helped by the fact that he didn't run other types of routes, like A.J. did last year. In <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/1653/tom-brady">Tom Brady's</a> 2010 offense, almost all of Tate's catches came from deep and intermediate throws down the field. He wasn't asked to run shorter routes much at all. Tom Brady hardly even looked at Tate, unless he was streaking past a safety. In fact, Tate was on the field for 552 snaps that year, and only received 43 targets. It's really hard to even watch film on Tate because it's just so boring.</p> <p> So, Tate is untested running other types of routes. That's where Armon Binns comes in. Binns wasn't bad as a deep threat with the UC Bearcats, but he probably doesn't quite have the second-gear speed to beat NFL-level defensive backs.</p> <p> He'll be much more effective as a possession receiver, working intermediate and shorter routes. In OTAs so far, Binns has looked more explosive than the scouting reports said he was (he went undrafted in 2011), and I especially like the way he comes out of his breaks. He gets his hands up quickly, and since he's 6'3", it's very hard for defenders to make a play on the ball. Binns and Green look like trees when they are out there on the field together. That's why I project Binns to start as the number two receiver in week one. Sprinkle in some Tate and <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/155096/marvin-jones">Marvin Jones</a> on the outside, while Sanu and Shipley and Gresham work the middle. That works to everyone's strengths the best.</p> <p> I get more into detail on this subject when the second part of the wide receiver preview (containing both Tate and Binns) is released on Monday afternoon.</p> <p> <u><b>+</b></u> Lastly, the <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/cleveland-browns">Browns</a> used a freaking <i>second round</i> pick on wide receiver <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/157975/josh-gordon">Josh Gordon</a> this week in the NFL's supplemental draft.</p> <p> That's right. They used a second round pick on a guy <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82a86c21/article/josh-gordon-on-and-off-the-field-a-risky-project-for-browns">who reportedly failed three drug tests in college</a>, and only has 43 career receptions.</p> <p> <b>But, while it's easy to bash, it makes the Browns offense a lot more scarier to me. </b>I think people are underestimating the Browns this year, particularly their offense.</p> <p> Josh Gordon is a very incredible physical talent. Physically, he's comparable to <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/152660/michael-floyd">Michael Floyd</a> and <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/152653/justin-blackmon">Justin Blackmon</a>, the top two receivers taken in last year's draft.</p> <p> His character concerns and his complete inexperience as a route runner are his two biggest drawbacks. Though I think the Browns definitely took Gordon a round or two early, his potential as a wide receiver in scary.</p> <p> The Browns now have promising young talent at the skill positions, and their defense was ranked tenth best in the league last year, thanks to their second-ranked pass defense.</p> <p> The reason the Browns (4-12) lost so many games last year was because teams ran all over them. They always lost the possession game last year because they couldn't stop teams from ramming the ball down their throats, and their offense of <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/108600/colt-mccoy">Colt McCoy</a> and their long list of sidelined running backs and inexperienced receivers couldn't move the ball consistently.</p> <p> This year, the Browns have immediately upgraded their backfield with the additions of quarterback <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/152670/brandon-weeden">Brandon Weeden</a> and running back Trent Richardson. Both are considered some of the most pro-ready prospects of last year's draft class. Weeden would have been taken earlier than 22st overall pick if he wasn't turning 29 this October. Their wide receivers need to get a little more experience under their belt, but they have a lot of young, promising talent between sophomore <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/131117/greg-little">Greg Little</a>, the aformentioned Josh Gordon, and rookie playmaker <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/155190/travis-benjamin">Travis Benjamin</a>.</p> <p> They are weak on the offensive line, where they will probably be starting a second round rookie Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle, and 2011 fifth rounder <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/131005/jason-pinkston">Jason Pinkston</a> at left guard, who graded out horribly there last year. Their right guard <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/108486/shawn-lauvao">Shawn Lauvao</a> wasn't too good either, with a position-leading 11 penalties called and 7 sacks allowed last year. Their offensive line may be the biggest weakness of their entire team.</p> <p> The addition of former Bengals defensive end <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/2608/frostee-rucker">Frostee Rucker</a> helps their run defense a lot, but losing 2011 first round defensive tackle Phil Taylor to an offseason pectoral injury doesn't. Elsewhere on defense, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/108687/joe-haden">Joe Haden</a> is one of the best young cornerbacks in this league, but they lost one of their starting safeties in free agency, Mike Adams. I don't think their pass defense will take a significant dropoff, but someone else needs to help out defensive end <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/131090/jabaal-sheard">Jabaal Sheard</a> with getting to the quarterback. Sheard had nine sacks as a rookie last year. Lastly, their special teams always brings it with return man Josh Cribbs.</p> <p> So that's my offseason analysis of the Browns. They really aren't as a bad as every power ranking list seems to have them. They will definitely be in a lot of games this year, and I think they can surprise some people. We are 5-1 against the Browns in the last three years, but don't forget how close the games were in 2011. In week one, the Bengals had punted five straight times and were down 17-14 with four minutes left in the 4th quarter until they quick snapped it to a wide open A.J. Green. They were down 17-7 to the Browns at halftime in week twelve, and they kicked the go-ahead field goal as time expired.</p> <p> Of course, they're still the Browns. I think we'll still handle them. We match up with their weaknesses well. But, they may take down the <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/pittsburgh-steelers">Steelers</a>/<a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/baltimore-ravens">Ravens</a> a time or two.</p> <p>  </p> <img src="http://cdn.feedcrossing.com/1x.gif?o=fxing_o1_19o4_22t2_0_" /> <p> Check out other great articles at <a href="http://49erslines.com/">49erslines.com</a>.</p> <span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span>var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Top 25 NFL free agents of 2013

As NFL teams prepare for the start of the season they already have their eye on who could become available during the free agency period of 2013. While looking at the list of the top 25 free agents the Baltimore Ravens stand out with two top players on the list including quarterback Joe Flacco and Ed Reed. Here is a list of the top 25 NFL free agents of 2013. NFL teams have your...

Bengals position analysis - wide receivers

Our series of Cincinnati Bengals training camp previews continues with a look at the crowded wide receiver position; The secret is out: A.J. Green is really good. With 65 catches for 1,057 yards and 7 touchdowns in his rookie season, Green introduced himself to the AFC North and to the league as a whole as a player to watch for years to come. Opposing defenses are among the group...

Bengals position analysis - the backfield

Our series of Cincinnati Bengals training camp previews starts with a look at the offensive backfield; At this time last year, Andy Dalton was an unknown commodity, Carson Palmer was insisting he was home in California for good and Cedric Benson was a free agent awaiting the end of the NFL lockout and a call to go work for some team. A lot has changed totally. Some things have changed...

45 Hottest Cincinnati Bengals Cheerleaders & Sexy Superfans

Today we tackle the Cincinnati Bengals cheerleaders & superfans. Like most of you, we are itching for football season to start. In the midst of the dog days of summer, many get sick of baseball and start turning their attention to football. Don’t blame you a bit. To help quench your thirst, BC is going on a 32 team, 32 day, 32 gallery tour of NFL cheerleaders & superfans...

Cincinnati Bengals: 3 Questions Heading into Training Camp

After a surprising season in which the Cincinnati Bengals shocked the league, appearing in the playoffs when many predicted them to be competing for the first overall draft selection, the Bengals are a confounding team to project in 2012. Granted, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green will continue to develop as a dynamic playmaking combination, but questions remain about Green’s supporting...

Maria Menounos Hanging Out In A Bikini With An Unemployed Terrell Owens

I originally wanted to title this “Maria Menounos Hanging Out With An Unemployed Bum” but I wanted everyone to know that somehow/some way Terrell Owens is back in our headlines. The... [[ Read More ]]

Johnathan Joseph praises the Texans while taking a jab at the Bengals

Getty Images Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph recently sat down with Barry Byers of The Herald and told him how different things are with the Texans then they were with the Bengals. “The first thing about Houston is it’s an organization run from a different perspective,” Joseph told Barry Byers of The Herald in a Sunday Q&A. “In Cincy, the team lives off...

Kyle Cook and total pressures allowed in the NFL

Pro Football Focus has been releasing their "3 Years of ..." articles in the past few weeks, and it's always interesting to see a Bengals name pop up here and there at the bottom or top of some list. Andrew Whitworth ranked the third best offensive tackle in the league in pass blocking effeciency. Defensive ends Michael Johnson and Robert Geathers ranked among the...

Training camp preview: Bengals, Lions

To get you fully prepared for the unofficial start of the 2012 NFL season, we're ranking every team from worst to first in the weeks leading up to the opening of training camps. Every day, we'll be previewing two teams, one from each conference, analyzing them from top to bottom and giving you all you need to know to be an informed fan. What's the major storyline heading...

How Mike Zimmer is fixing the secondary

When your car breaks down you often just replace what is broken. In the case of NFL defenses, teams often decide to start fresh by bringing in new coaches, players, and philosophies to stop losing games on defense. Mike Zimmer has brought a top ten defense to town in his tenure, but he is not stopping there. Last year's second half was evidence the secondary needed to improve...

Shanahan, Street On Biletnikoff Watch List

Pitt has had two Biletnikoff Award winners in its history--Antonio Bryant in 2000 and Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.