For a rain-shortened practice before everybody left for the bye weekend, a lot happened Wednesday before noon at Paul Brown Stadium:
- Rookie quarterback Ryan Finley went through his first practice as the starter on The Paul’s turf and it just so happened to be the first practice of the season wide receiver A.J. Green took reps with the offense. Green reported he even caught a ball, a slant-in, from Finley. Green’s goal is to have his first full practice a week from Wednesday and to play his first game against the Ravens at PBS a week from Sunday if all goes well with the ankle.
- After practice Green reminisced about his days with quarterback Andy Dalton (favorite moment: that first Pro Bowl when they were rookies in the locker room with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis) and talked about how much Dalton means to him personally and professionally. Then he dropped a bit of news and said he’d play under the franchise tag if it ever came to that.
“What is it? 18, 20 million?” Green asked. “I’m not one of these guys that’s going to sit out and give away money.”
But both sides are hoping to go long-term. "Give me a long term or just let me go," Green said. And Green said he would consider a tag an insult. But he also said now that his ankle is coming around he suspects agent Ben Dogra has had some talks with the Bengals.
"I’m generally happy here. We might not win but I’m happy here. End of the day it’s a business and I know my worth," Green said. "I know what I bring to this team. So, we will what happens."
View photos from the Bengals practice inside of Paul Brown Stadium heading into the bye week.
- No one ever doubted that Andy Dalton would conduct himself professionally and with the utmost class when he addressed the subject of his demotion, which he did Wednesday. How often do you see media members shake a guy’s hand after a mass interview?
Dalton says he told head coach Zac Taylor he disagreed with the move, but that he’ll help the team get through this stretch.
Tuesday was tough when he heard the news, but Wednesday may have been tougher because he talked about it. Dalton said if Taylor knew he was going to do this, he wished the Bengals would have explored trading him to a team that would play him instead of finding out three hours before Tuesday's trading deadline. But Taylor indicated he didn't raise the issue with his staff until Tuesday.
“I want to play. If that’s here’s fine. But I want to play,” Dalton said. “That’s not my focus now …. I want to help us get through this stretch.”
- Finley said Dalton has been great ever since the move was made: “It really meant a lot when he told me, ‘I’ve got your back.’”