The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a disastrous 2016 campaign that saw the team finish with six wins and miss out on the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Though, the team remains confident that last season was a mirage more than anything else. Andy Dalton struggled under center. A.J. Green missed six games to injury. And in reality, the running back group struggled to get anything going on the ground.
The absence of Green due to a hamstring injury pretty much set this offense back on its own. He’s one of the top three or four receivers in the game. Missing someone of that ilk for an extended period of time will lead to widespread issues.
Now, with Cincinnati’s off-season program underway and OTAs taking place, it looks like Dalton himself is pretty happy where Green is.
“I would say he’s better than he’s been,” Dalton said, via the team’s website. “It’s the best shape he’s been in, probably. He’s fast, he’s big. He’s been doing it all. Even if you said he was the same, that’s really good.”
If that’s the case, opposing AFC North defenses should be really concerned. Despite dealing with injury, Green was still able to put up nearly 1,000 receiving yards in 10 games. This came off a five-year span to beging his career that saw the former top-10 pick average over 1,200 yards.
If Green is indeed in the best shape of his career and remains healthy, it could act as a boon for Dalton and the Bengals’ offense. In turn that would be big for Dalton, who is pretty much entering a make-or-break season in Cincinnati.