Going Green: Georgia wideout A.J. Green on verge of a breakout
JOHN HELSLEY •
Published: August 29, 2009
/articleid/3396606/1/pictures/664174"> Georgia receiver A.J. Green (8) caught 56 passes and caught eight touchdown passes as a freshman. AP ARCHIVE PHOTO
He was bigger and better, with a better understanding of the offense and a bold approach that every ball in his vicinity was his.
Green arrived in Athens looking like a stick figure, weighing just 184 pounds. He’s since added bulk (24 pounds) and smarts within the system.
"You watch on film,” Cox said, "and there were a lot of plays where he was just lost. Last year, he was one of the guys that Matthew (Stafford) would have to make sure he knew what to do.”
Still, Green led the Bulldogs with 963 receiving yards and eight TDs. He led the SEC in receiving yards per game (74).
"We’re going to have to game plan to stop him,” said OSU linebacker Patrick Lavine.
This time, Green’s looking for more.
And Cox, a first-time starter at quarterback, is more than willing to lean on Green.
"Anytime you have a guy like that on your side of the ball, it’s a blessing as a quarterback,” Cox said, "because it takes a lot of pressure off you as far as throwing passes to him. You don’t feel as though you have to force a perfect throw every time.
"You just have to give him a chance to make a play. He does have incredible playmaking abilities. He can jump. He’s fast; he can outrun guys.”
Green has the Cowboys’ attention.
OSU cornerbacks coach Jason Jones makes sure of it.
"That’s my focus,” Perrish Cox said. "I watch film, and that’s all he talks about when we’re tired, Coach is like... ‘Well, A.J. Green ain’t tired!’ It’s all of our motivation. And they have other talented receivers, too.
"That’s all he talks about.”