OTAs is the magical place where dreams start to take form. A.J. Green has seen the future and it’s hidden in the Bengals’ rookie class.
Remembering what could have happened is always a hard. Those memories sometimes bring solemn feelings of discouragement and thoughts of failure. The Cincinnati Bengals were a part of that situation, not so long ago. Posting a losing record for the 2016 season was frustrating. But, 12 W’s and a loss in the Wild Card game was a heartbreaking end to the 2015 campaign. With the rookie class looking sound and ready to go. The Bengals could be looking at a repeat of the offensive output for that year. With a bit of luck, they could be even better.
The Bengals started that memorable year with an 8-0 run. Fans that have been around for a while were instantly thrown back to the teams of 1988 and 1981. Both teams had powerhouse offenses and the D was solid enough to get the job done. So, when the wins started piling up and Andy Dalton looked like he had found his groove, it was natural to think Super Bowl. But, the end result was notable for reasons other than winning football.
Thoughts of revenge and capturing the AFC North again was on the minds of players and fans, the following year. But, there was a snafu in the blueprint. Free agency took its toll on the Bengals both offensively and defensively. Reggie Nelson found a new home with the Oakland Raiders. The peanut butter and jelly combination of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones found greener pastures in the NFC.
Back To The Future
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"“They can all make plays all over the field,” Green said, via Bengals.com. “I feel like we’re getting back to where we were in 2015 with Marvin, Mo. I feel like once TB (Tyler Boyd) gets settled in, he’ll be able to play faster because now he knows what to do and the way CC (Cody Core) is coming along, and after adding Ross and adding Mixon, I feel like we’re getting back to that 2015 roster.”"
That’s huge. Getting the attention of the Bengals’ future Hall of Fame inductee means something. If Cincinnati can put things together and flow like they did in that season, recapturing the AFC North will be a cinch. The running game will get a shot in the arm from the slashing style of Joe Mixon. He’ll get playing time due to Giovani Bernard’s ACL situation.
If Green can see it, then there are some big things set to happen in Cincinnati. Maybe this time they finish what gets started.