Bengals OC Hue Jackson discussed the team's receiving corps...
"I want (A.J. Green) to take it to a whole different level. I want A.J. and (Marvin Jones) and that receiver group to play uncommon football like you’ve never seem. That’s just my vision after coaching the position. Coach (James) Urban does a great job. A.J.’s has had one of the most historic first three years this league has ever seen. And he is that player. He is everything I thought he was and more. But I think there’s more in there. I think there’s a lot more in there. My challenge to him is, why not be the best? Why not be the best this league has ever seen? Because he has the ability to be that. And when they talk about A.J. Green, I want people to be talking about one of the greatest ever. Because he is and he has that. He’s got to set out every day to prove that because I think he’s that kind of player.
"Marvin Jones came on like gangbusters and he’s got to go chase A.J. Why not knock A.J. off the pedestal? When you have the friendly competition among your teammates, that’s when things get really, really good, in my opinion. (Mohamed Sanu) and (Brandon Tate) and (Dane Sanzenbacher), those guys at receiver, everybody has to raise their level of play. I think when that happens and we get five percent better, three percent better, whatever that is, I think the whole offensive unit gets better."
The key takeaway here is that Jackson mentioned Marvin Jones in the same breath as Green, so while the team is expected to make a concerted effort to run the ball more, Jones should see more snaps as the clear starter opposite Green. Jones played on an average of 43 percent of his teams snaps in his first 13 games of the season. Over his final four games, including a Wild Card playoff loss to the Chargers, he played on an average of 68 percent of snaps. As his snaps increased, so did his targets. He averaged 4.4 targets through 13 games compared to 8.8 targets in the final four games of the season, including 12 targets against the Chargers in the playoffs. After a season of frustrating usage, it appears that the Cincinnati coaching staff has finally recognized that Jones deserves to play more. He finished as the #21 WR in 2013 despite the limited snaps.