Taking out key players at practice help other team members work together
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/29/2012 -- It is the final week of practice for Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. In a move to see what the others can do without his best receiver, A.J. Green, he seats Green on the sidelines to watch plays. This is a purposeful move and is not a punishment. It allows others the chance to see what they can do without a key player in the mix. So far it has been noted as, “a good lesson.”
This type of strategy will help the Bengals prepare for games and give the coaches options on game day. So far Andrew Hawkins, Armon Binns, and Brandon Tate have risen to the challenge and are keeping up with Green. “On Fridays, I usually stick him right by me, and I let everybody else go to work,” Lewis said.
“Some days will be my day, and some days will be others,” said Green. Coaches also understand that developing receivers that complement instead of hinder.
Green has been a priority for the Bengals. In some games, like on Sunday, the Browns double- teamed Green, preventing him from making a game-breaking play. They may have been focused on Green but for the Bengals this means other receivers had more room to work.
When receiver Hawkins scored a touchdown, it stood out as an example of the opportunities he received in practice. Quarterback Dalton went to his right to avoid a rush, he could see that Hawkins was open 10 yards down field. Once Hawkins got hold of the ball, he was able to eluded defenders with some key blocks from other receivers.
It was an example of how teamwork, no matter who has the ball, can work. Green got the final block and Hawkins reached the end zone for a touchdown. “You have to be a complete receiver,” said Binns. “We have to put out efforts at all times, even when the ball isn’t in our hands. It felt good to help get Hawk there for his first touchdown.”
“It’s something to build on,” stated Hawkins. “It’s only the second week of the season. We have a long way to go, but there are a lot of positives.” In the first two games of the season, the Bengals have produced “37 plays of 10 or more yards.”
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