Maybe it is just coincidence. But probably not. In the five games running back Joe Mixon has racked up at least 20 carries while playing with wide receiver A.J. Green, the Bengals are 5-0.
Including that last one. Way back on Oct. 28, 2018. Back when Mixon banged it 21 times for 123 yards against the Buccaneers at The Paul to set the stage for Green’s diving-tumbling-crawling-mega clutch-11-yard catch over the middle on the game’s next-to-last play that translated into the winning field goal.
Maybe that’s why Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan found himself on Friday talking maybe more about Mixon than even the other not so average Joe in town, rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.
And Callahan isn’t forgetting about the other first-rounder making his NFL debut Sept 13 against the Chargers because left tackle Jonah Williams missed all of his rookie season last year with a shoulder injury.
After Williams spent a slice of the offseason working with recently retired Joe Staley, the six-time Pro Bowl left tackle for the 49ers, the Bengals’ eyes bulged when he came back so much sleeker and re-configured. The kid doesn’t look like a center any more.
Really, Callahan said, what ended up happening with him is he got a year to re-shape his body.
Green, it seems, has re-shaped nothing. From what they can see, he’s still got game-breaking springs. To have him back on the field for the first time since he was carted off the field in the first 45 minutes of the Zac Taylor Era up in Dayton during the opening practice of training camp has players and coaches buzzing.
Amazing that Green has never taken a snap in game with Taylor on the sidelines and Callahan in the press box. But Callahan confirmed Friday that Green certainly knows his way around what is now Burrow’s playbook.