Notes: Green likes coaching challenge; Whitworth on guard again as Pollak rests; Dennard's Day

Posted May 27, 2014

With Mike Pollak sitting out the first day of OTAs, Trevor Robinson centered the first group.

Updated: 6:50 p.m.

Three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green didn’t go full go Tuesday when the Bengals offense went against the defense for the first time this season as he rested a tweaked ankle. But offensive coordinator Hue Jackson still probably got on him about something.

“He’s always  in your face. There’s always something you could be working on. That’s the biggest thing with him with me. He’s always on me,’ Green said. “It doesn’t matter what I’m doing right. He’s always going to be in my face and I like that kind of stuff. I love a guy that’s going  to push me to that next level.”

Green has always been The Man. Ever since he led Summerville High School to the South Carolina  basketball title and was the only junior named to USA Today’s All-USA football team to his 3,833 yards that are second only to Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice for most production in the first three years of an NFL career.

But Jackson told  last week that he thinks Green has “a lot more in there.”

“I agree, I agree,” Green said. “Last year my numbers were better, but I didn’t finish out the year the way I wanted to. Some little things. I got tired a little bit. The knee wasn’t feeling all right. I feel like I’ve got to push through the season and finish the season a little stronger than I did last year.”

Green says he been challenged like this before, but not since Summerville.

 “My high school coach that used to challenge the mess out of me. I feel like Hue and him are the same guy,” Green said. “It doesn’t matter what I do, the kind of catches I make. That’s my job. He always told me that’s my job. To catch the ball. No matter how great a catch it was.”

Green is talking about how he wants to be remembered as one of the top five receivers of all-time and right now he’s, “Not even close. Not even close.”

WHIT ON GUARD: First day of OTAs for the Bengals and it was more noteworthy who didn’t practice Tuesday in offense vs. defense than who did.

With Mike Pollack (knee) not working, left tackle Andrew Whitworth moved to left guard, Trevor Robinson centered the first group, and newly-acquired Marshall Newhouse lined up at left tackle while the right side remained intact with guard Kevin Zeitler and tackle Andre Smith.

Pollak doesn’t appear to have anything serious, but he’s apparently going to get some rest this spring. Whitworth could only shrug and smile after an offseason he was relieved to learn he was going to be staying at left tackle. He will, but it also shows right now how high of an option he is at left guard with Clint Boling rehabbing an ACL and Pollak, a backup guard, resting.

“So many situations, you’re trying to put your best guys out there formation-wise,” Whitworth said. “Also, it’s just early and we are trying to work around positions and hypothetically who will be ready when we get to camp and who won’t.”

With OTAs, experimentation isn’t an experiment. 

“You are really just trying a lot of stuff,” Whitworth said. “Tomorrow may be different you just never know.” …

Tight end Jermaine Gresham apparently didn’t attend the first of the nine voluntary on-field sessions…

Fifth-round pick AJ McCarron didn’t throw, said he had “some tightness,” and said he should be able to throw soon…

Veteran safety Danieal Manning, coming off a broken leg last year with the Texans, is back-pedaling with the defensive backs and says he’s ready but they’re going to ease him in…

Cornerback Leon Hall (Achilles) looked terrific in warmups before continuing his rehab during practice…Devon Still, who missed the last two games with a herniated disc, went inside after warmups, as did fellow defensive tackle Geno Atkins (ACL)…

DENNARD’S DAY:  Darqueze Dennard showed why the Bengals made him the 24thpick in the draft a few weeks ago. He certainly belonged on Tuesday as he worked opposite the most recent first-round corner, Dre Kirkpatrick of the class of 2012. They backed up the first group of Terence Newman and Adam Jones.

Usually rookies have to adjust to the faster pace of the pros. But during practice he found himself trying to slow down.

“It’s not the speed that’s the problem,’ said Dennard of the adjustment. “It’s trying not to over think things or try to do too much. Just to make sure you’re doing it right. I just have to slow down.

“I slowly got comfortable,” he said. “I really got comfortable at the end.”

Dennard played in the slot some, a spot where he might be able to make an immediate impact as Hall, the No. 1 slot corner, tries to make a second Achilles comeback in two years. Since he comes out of a versatile scheme at Michigan State, Dennard says his biggest adjustment has been learning the language.

“Just the different terminology,’ he said.


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