Quick Hits: Green Loving It Under Radar; Mixon Says Offense "Nightmare," For Foes; Dalton On Run

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) can't make the catch in front of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (33) during the first half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
A.J. Green: back in the limelight.

All is right with Bengaldom.

The Bengals checked into training camp Friday and wide receiver A.J. Green talked about being 100 percent after missing half of last season with a big toe injury. As he heads into his contract year, he also talked about how Cincinnati is his home and that he thinks the deal will work out.

Just exactly what Bengals fans want to hear on the eve of Saturday's first practice of camp at 2 p.m. at Dayton's Welcome Stadium.

The fans have been wondering about the Bengals' lack of a national media profile during the offseason. They also could have been wondering the same thing about Green during a 24-hour, seven-day assault on the senses stemming from the Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown trades and Julio Jones' contract situation. With 1,093 yards away from 10,000 for his career ("Easy," he said), Green is very much in the conversation as one of the top receivers in the league. If there was a conversation.

"If not, the best receiver in the league," said quarterback Andy Dalton. "I don't think he looks at the outside noise. If anything, it's only going to make him better. If he's seen it. Look at the numbers A.J. has put up in the games he's played. I would day he compares to almost any receiver in the league."

The impassive Green, who really doesn't care about the noise, knows why no one is talking about him or the Bengals.

"That's the way it is in the NFL," Green said. "The NFL loves high-profile players. The guys always on social media. It's not a bad thing, but that's what sells. We don't have that many people (like that) on our team. That's fine for me. I'm not here to be a superstar. I'm here to be a football player.

"I feel like when you see me on the field, everybody knows who I am. I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anybody."

- Every school kid knows before it all went to hell last year on offense with injuries, the Bengals were purring at some 30 points per game. Dalton thinks they can play like that in new head coach Zac Taylor's offense.

"Absolutely. With the talent we have now and what we can do schematically, I feel like it's going to put us in position to score a lot of points, put up a lot of yards whether it be run or pass. We have full confidence we can be a really good offense. We can do a lot of different things. It's a good mix of the run, pass and play-action. We're going to be a team able to do it all."

In his ninth season, here's what Dalton says is the biggest change from his four previous Bengals playbooks:

"Everybody is going to say when they talk about their offense it all starts with the run game. (But) this offense does definitely start with the run game. Probably more than some of the other offenses we've been in."

- So that puts all eyes on third-year running back Joe Mixon, the defending AFC rushing champion who showed up svelte and bubbly, declaring the offense to be "A nightmare for defenses." While some backs are talking about 500 touches, Mixon played it cool.

"As much as I've got to do," Mixon said. "Individually and as a team to put ourselves on top. If it takes 250, I'll take 250. If it takes 400, that's what I'm going to get. At the end of the day every touch counts … I've always been a one-play-away guy until I really (bust) it and I'll continue to do that. If it takes 400 touches, that's what I'm going to want."

- Tackle Andre Smith showed up with a different locker on the other side of the room, but with the same number 71. After 92 starts at right tackle and one on the left, he says he can do both: "I came out of college playing the left."

- Center Billy Price has an undisclosed injury, but word is he shouldn't be out more than a few days. It's unclear what long-snapper Clark Harris' injury is, but it doesn't appear to hamper his availability for the season.

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