Andy Dalton is back to zipping the ball. He’s got no restrictions with his throwing thumb; he’s got one visit under his belt to passing specialist Dr. Tom House last month, and after watching two of his most established targets leave via free agency he got one back with a Super Bowl ring and knows Pro Bowlers A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are already here.
“It would be tougher if it was my first or second year, but this is year six,” Dalton says Monday from Dallas of his revamped receiving corps. “It’s easier for me now than early on in my career. That is going to be fun. We’ve got these guys from the start; we’ve got to get them exactly where we want them to be.
The two guys who lockered next to him and meant so much to the passing game won’t be here two weeks from Monday when the Bengals gather for offseason workouts. Wide receiver Marvin Jones turned down at least the same $40 million to go to Detroit and Mohamed Sanu got No. 2 money in Atlanta when a No. 4 role loomed in Cincinnati.
Jones was one of our favorite sleepers last summer, but his season was derailed by an ankle injury. His 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns resulted in the 3rd-highest FP/T in 2013. He’s poised to surprise if he can prove he’s fully healthy and win the starting job opposite A.J. Green. Mohamed Sanu played pretty well last season but he struggled with drops, and Jones was ahead of Sanu when disaster struck. Both players are free agents after the season, so this is one of the more interesting camp battles to monitor this summer. One thing to note -- Sanu only saw 5.2 targets in the 12 games in which Green played, so Cincinnati’s WR2 it wasn’t a high-volume role in OC Hue Jackson’s run-oriented offense, but Jackson said that he is planning to open things up a bit in 2015.
Saturday, August 8, 2015, 12:58pm
Yes, those are his initials. But they also signify "running back," the position Burkhead has played since he was drafted three years ago, and the one his superiors contend remains his position.
"He's a running back," offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said, smiling.
Added head coach Marvin Lewis with his own grin: "He's not a wide receiver."
"I'm just filling in whatever way I can," Burkhead said. "If something does happen like that in the season, I can hopefully fill that void and not miss a beat with the offense."
Before Jones' absences, the lean receiver had been featured him as the No. 2 wide out opposite Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green. With Jones and Green on the outside, Mohamed Sanu had been getting the bulk of slot receiver duties in base three-receiver schemes.
Perhaps Burkhead is a guy to keep an eye on as camp progresses. The story said although Burkhead still has gotten his share of snaps from the backfield as a true running back, he also has lined up often in this training camp at receiver. Specifically, he's lined up in the slot, where he has been consistently matched up with safeties and corners, and he caught passes after pulling away from them on various routes. With receiver Marvin Jones out the past four practices with a sore hamstring, Burkhead has shifted into a more regular role in the slot.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Bengals coaches are as confident in Marvin Jones' health and style of play as you've undoubtedly read in recent days. Receivers coach James Urban is among the most impressed. He told me a couple days ago that this spring was "baptism by fire" as it pertained to Jones. It was all about getting the rust off the wide out by putting him through every scenario he should face this season. Urban was pleased with what he saw, as was Jones. He was quick and crisp in his routes and started sharpening his timing with quarterback Andy Dalton by the end of the minicamp that concluded Thursday.
Health-wise, Jones told me Thursday he has no lingering effects of the foot and ankle injuries that held him out all of last season. He feels perfectly fine and made it through the practices without any issues. I think it's safe to say Jones is back.
Jones was one of our favorite sleepers last summer, but his season was derailed by an ankle injury. His 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns resulted in the 3rd-highest FP/T in 2013. He’s poised to surprise if he can prove he’s fully healthy and win the starting job opposite A.J. Green. Mohamed Sanu played pretty well last season but he struggled with drops, and Jones was ahead of Sanu when disaster struck. Both players are free agents after the season, so this is one of the more interesting camp battles to monitor this summer. One thing to note: Sanu only saw an average of 5.2 targets in the 12 games in which Green played, so Cincinnati’s WR2 it wasn’t a high-volume role in OC Hue Jackson’s run-oriented offense. That could change if Jones wins the job, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Monday, April 20, 2015, 5:30pm
Moore caught 33 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns while also running for one score that season and he followed that up with seven more touchdown catches the next year. He continued to play a prominent role in the offense in 2013, but drifted into an insignificant role with Oakland last season.
Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was the head coach in Oakland when Moore was a rookie during the 2011 season. The problem for Moore's fantasy potential is he'll be behind A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones and the recently re-signed Brandon Tate, at least heading into OTAs and camp.
“I’ve got the green light to do anything and everything I need to do to get back to where I need to be,” Bengals WR Marvin Jones texted Thursday after another workout. “I’ve been surprised at the progress I’ve made in only going on my second week training and at the rate I’m going I’m sure I will be in game shape very soon.”
Jones was one of our favorite sleepers heading into the season, but ankle and foot injuries made it a "lost year" for the talented wideout. Mohamed Sanu stepped in and shined as the team's WR2 opposite A.J. Green. If Jones and TE Tyler Eifert make a full recovery, Andy Dalton will have a nice group of receivers to target in 2015.
Friday, January 2, 2015, 5:04pm
Bengals WR A.J. Green (concussion, doubtful) missed practice Friday after taking limited reps Thursday and is doubtful for Week 18. With Green doubtful, look for Mohamed Sanu to have a solid game against Indianapolis. He averaged 5.0-93-.60 in the five games Green missed (or was very limited) this season. He didn’t do much (3-54 on nine targets) against Indianapolis in Week 7, however.
It's not a good sign that Green isn't practicing today, though (for what it's worth) beat writer Coley Harvey said that he thinks he'll be cleared by Sunday. If Green can't play, then Mohamed Sanu should be a nice start. He averaged 5.5 catches for 96 yards and 0.5 TD in the four games that Green missed this season. He also posted a 3-84-1 in a game against Atlanta in which Green only played 7 percent of the snaps.
Bengals A.J. Green has entered the league's concussion protocol, per ESPN's Coley Harvey and Paul Dehner of The Cincinnati Enquirer, after sustaining a blow to the head from Steelers safety Mike Mitchell late in the fourth quarter of the Bengals' 27-17 loss.
The hit came less than a second after Green hauled in a 17-yard pass and was wrestled down toward the ground by Antwon Blake, forcing a fumble. The result was a pivotal recovery by the Steelers, ending the Bengals' drive.
The blow to the head prematurely ended Green's night, in which the receiver caught six passes for 67 yards over his final two drives after a sluggish start. His status for Sunday's Wild Card game against the Indianapolis Colts is in jeopardy, depending upon his progression during the week. Mohamed Sanu would move back to the WR1 role but he had just one catch for 16 yards in Week 17. Giovani Bernard had a 7-56-1 receiving line in Week 17 and will likely continue to be a major factor in the passing game while Jeremy Hill gets the carries.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu (illness) was removed from the injury report Friday after taking full practice reps Thursday. Sanu is good to go for a great matchup with the Bucs.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:20pm
Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu (not injury related) did not practice Wednesday. We’ll monitor this, but it’s probably just a day of rest for Sanu.
Bengals WR A.J. Green has missed parts of four games this season because of a nagging big-toe injury, and in his place the Bengals have just rolled out a strong group of receivers, running backs and tight ends. Mohamed Sanu has been the most direct replacement for Green, catching 21 passes for 383 yards and a touchdown in Green's absence. Since Sanu has served as a runner on reverses, and passed balls in addition to catching them, he has racked up 460 yards of total offense in relief of Green. That's good enough for 31.3 percent of the Bengals' entire offensive production in the games Green has missed. Even if Green returns, expect Sanu to factor in similar ways this week and on down the line.
We're seeing Sanu fall down WR rankings as Green is expected to return this week, but we still consider him a good WR2, especially since six teams are on bye in Week 9. Sanu averaged 8.8 FP in the three games in which Green has played, and those are #20-type WR numbers. Considering Green won't be 100 percent, Sanu should continue to be heavily involved in the team's offense.
After Green's visit to a foot specialist last week in Cincinnati, the hope was that the third-year star wideout would be back after this week. But the possibility exists his return could take a little longer.
Asked Friday about a more defined timetable for Green's return from a big toe injury that kept him out of last week's game and will do the same this Sunday, Lewis simply said "the time is up in the air."
- Page 1