Arizona extensive receiver A.J. Inexperienced is gearing up for a pivotal function within the Cardinals’ offense this season.
Inexperienced, who’s coming into his twelfth season within the NFL and second season with Arizona, is getting ready to imagine the No. 1 receiver function — no less than for the six-game absence of fellow star wideout DeAndre Hopkins — and he is prepared for the problem.
“It’s night time and day from final yr. I’m extra comfy within the offense,” Inexperienced mentioned Thursday after OTAs. “As you grow old, you need to change your recreation. For me, it’s higher route operating and being extra affected person.
“I left 1,000 yards on the sector [last season]. I really feel like the primary half of the season I performed effectively and the second half getting back from COVID damage me from a fatigue issue. I wasn’t as sharp and didn’t have the identical consideration to element.
“[The Cardinals] know what I can do, they usually use me the correct approach,” Inexperienced added. “I really feel like that is the most effective place to construct my legacy for my profession.”
Inexperienced signed a one-year deal to play for the Cardinals for the 2021 season. He then examined the free agent waters this previous offseason earlier than re-signing one other one-year cope with Arizona in April.
He joined the Cardinals final yr after enjoying the earlier 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, who chosen Inexperienced with the No. 4 total choose within the 2011 NFL Draft.
Inexperienced, a seven-time Professional Bowler, returns to Arizona after enjoying 16 video games (9 begins) final season, the place he reeled in 54 receptions for 848 yards and three touchdowns. The 2021 season was Inexperienced’s eighth with 800-plus receiving yards, tied for probably the most amongst lively gamers.
The 33-year-old Inexperienced’s 15.7-yards-per-catch common final season led the workforce and ranked fifth within the NFL amongst certified gamers (min. 50 receptions). What’s extra, it was the second-highest receiving common of his profession behind his rookie season in 2011 when he was 23 years previous (16.3 yards per catch).
Alongside Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore and Hopkins, Inexperienced will lead the receiving room, and with tight finish Zach Ertz within the combine and James Conner within the backfield, the Cardinals’ offense is locked and loaded.
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