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Camp report: Green won't change game

Posted Aug 2, 2014

A few hours after left tackle Andrew Whitworth expressed concern about how the officials are going to interpret new points of emphasis this season in the offensive line, A.J. Green lived them at wide receiver during Saturday’s Family Day practice at Paul Brown Stadium.

A.J. Green says he'll keep playing like this despite two offensive pass interference calls on Saturday.

A few hours after left tackle Andrew Whitworth expressed concern about how the officials are going to interpret new points of emphasis this season in the offensive line, A.J. Green lived them at wide receiver during Saturday’s Family Day practice at Paul Brown Stadium.

Green, the three-time Pro Bowler, had a 63-yard touchdown pass called back because they ruled he pushed off for offensive pass interference, and it happened later in practice to nullify another big gain.  He’s had five OPIs in his career and had two all last year.

A skeleton NFL crew has been in town the past few days helping the Bengals through points the league wants emphasized this season:

Crackdown on pushoffs at the top of the route by wide receivers.

Hand to face, neck and head, even briefly, are to be penalized.

Defensive backs contact beyond five yards watched more closely.

Grabbing by defensive backs enforced more even within five yards of line of scrimmage.

Slightest move on line of scrimmage could be false start.

 Whitworth is having trouble with the second one and has talked to the officials this week about it. Green had trouble with the first one Saturday.

“It’s going to be an adjustment. I want to go back and see the plays. I thought the officials called it really close,” said Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. “ It takes  it to a whole different level for us as far as watching it and making sure we pay attention to it, because we don’t want to create bad habit patterns for ourselves. We’ll take a real close look at it and see what we can do better.”

 Receivers aren’t supposed to lure defenders into defensive pass interference, but Jackson thinks Green was clean on that.

 “There’s a point in there where the defensive back can be physical and the receiver can be physical, but we don’t want to be pushing off,” Jackson said. “What we want to do is be very aggressive to and through the ball, but not the point to where we might draw penalties.  I don’t think A.J. was trying to, again I think the official was really judging that very closely.”

 Green is adamant. He’s not changing anything about his game.

 “They were riding me, so I had to get them off,” Green said. “If they can hold us, why can’t we get them off us and knock their hands down?”

Green said if they follow through and call it that closely this season, “it will be tough. It’s going to be tough. It’s the same mindset of defensive backs coaches coaching DBs like they’re not going to call every holding call. I’ve been doing this for four years and it never got called.”

 PLAYER OF THE DAY:  Quarterback Andy Dalton.  He hit 17 of his first 19 passes for about 200 yards. The two incompletions came on a tipped ball and linebacker Vincent Rey’s tight coverage on a short throw to running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis over the middle. Then when the Bengals worked on getting deep out of their own end, he ended the day with two incompletions and even one of them was praised by Jackson.

This was Jackson’s “Uncle Andy.” Sometimes, Jackson says, you have to say, ‘Uncle,’ and take the sack or an incompletion, anything but an interception. When the pocket broke down, Dalton moved left and then gunned a ball off the foot of a wide receiver heading out of bounds.

“That was a great throwaway when we were backed up,” Jackson said. “There were times in the past the ball might have gone someplace else. “

 There might have been an even better example earlier. Jackson really liked it when he had a pass called, but it broke down when the defensive end suddenly came up field. He tucked it and followed Bernard through his track up the middle for about a six-yard rush.

PLAY OF THE DAY: Green beat cornerback R.J. Stanford down the left sideline and Dalton led him with a perfect Go ball throw for a touchdown, but Green was called for pushing off. Green has been called for offensive pass interference five times in his career, twice last year and twice in 2012, according to NFL stats.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Dalton, when asked if that 63-yarder was a TD: “Come on. It was a touchdown. There were a couple of those where we’ll have to go back and look at those and see what kind of calls they were. I thought he did a good job of getting open and making a play.”

 NOT A SNAP: One thing that had Jackson grousing was another high snap from rookie first-team center Russell Bodine. While Bodine has done a good job with it overall, the last couple of days he’s been good for a bad once a practice and one bad one can be one too many in the AFC North.

“We’ve got to get that solved,” Jackson said. “We can’t have that happen. If it’s the one thing I’ve been disappointed about, it’s that. We can’t play football snapping it over the quarterback’s head.”

 SLANTS AND SCREENS: The first defense gave up some big pass plays to backup quarterback  Jason Campbell and third-team QB Matt Scott (A.J. McCarron is shelved by elbow rehab), got a big catch-and-run from speedy wide receiver Conner Vernon.

The biggest play, a 50-yard touchdown pass from Campbell to free-agent rookie wide receiver Colin Lockett, was a shock coming against that experienced secondary of first-round picks that has had such an outstanding camp.

Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and cornerbacks coach Vance Joseph said it was a lack of communication and a blown coverage. They were split up for this exercise on different sidelines and that was a contributing factor.

 “I thought last night we performed a lot better,” Guenther said. “One of the disappointing things we had happen is we had a miscommunication on a coverage and you can’t have that. We left him wide open and we didn’t get it communicated. We need to clear that up.

“There were some encouraging things out there. I thought some of the guys played real well. Last night was more of a live situation and coming back (is tough), but we have to compete in every situation. They’re going to complete some balls every now and again and we just have to go on to the next one. We have to make sure we communicate, that’s why you have exercises like this.”

Overall, Joseph has been pleased with corner play that has been very good so far.

“It’s been solid. Guys are playing the technique. Everything is being contested. The rest you can fix,” Joseph said. “The technique gets you close in coverage and that’s what we’ve been doing.

“The miscommunication shouldn’t happen,” Joseph said. “But its preventable with the full staffs together.” …

No numbers on punter Kevin Huber, but he was solid kicking the ball when he was backed up…

Free-agent rookie guard Trey Hopkins again got some quality snaps on the left side with Clint Boling and Mike Pollak both out. Boling was resting, but Pollak has now missed a couple of days in a row and still seems to be dealing with his knee issues…

Backup kicker Quinn Sharp hit what looked to be a 50-yard field goal…

Incumbent fullback Orson Charles started with the first group, but free-agent rookie Ryan Hewitt also took some snaps there…

   

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