ESPN’s Riddick ‘shocked’ by up-close impression of Cardinals’ A.J. Green
One of the biggest game-changers for the Arizona Cardinals this year could be the acquisition of wide receiver A.J. Green.
The “could” in that sentence is based on a seven-time Pro Bowler now being 33 years old and through several injuries.
But it’s hard not to get enamored with the possibilities when you think about them. And how about seeing ’em up close, a guy like Green at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds moving the way he can to get footballs?
In preparation for the broadcast of the Cardinals facing the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday in preseason play, that’s what ESPN’s Louis Riddick has been getting this week in Arizona, and he told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday he was shocked watching Green.
“When I saw him yesterday … being down on the field with him, I was like, damn he’s big,” he said. “He’s long. Look at his legs, look at his wingspan.”
What Riddick saw in practice that day reminded him of a Green in the mid-2010s that was not only one of the best pass-catchers in football, but one of football’s best players, period.
What I saw from AJ Green at #Cardinals practice today looked like the 2015 version. He was 🔥. AZ has the potential to have top 5 WR group with DHop, AJ, Rondale Moore, Christian Kirk.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) August 18, 2021
Riddick sees the change in scenery for Green as a benefit after the wideout spent his first 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
“He’s in a place now where he’s feeling it again,” he said. “And that’s not to disparage the Cincinnati Bengals and they had changed direction down there. He had played for (former Bengals head coach) Marvin Lewis his whole career and it just wasn’t going to work for him there anymore. He’s rejuvenated, man. And I was just like, ‘Damn, look at this guy.'”
One of the first plays of practice that Riddick saw was Green in pursuit of a pass thrown by Kyler Murray.
“Kyler drops back and just launches a deep ball and I’m going, ‘Look at him go get that son of a gun,'” Riddick said. “If that’s the A.J. Green we’re getting and that’s the A.J. Green that he’s been showing all through camp … if he can sustain that, between him and D-Hop and Rondale Moore and when Andy Isabella gets back healthy and Chase (Edmonds) is looking good and James Conner can stay healthy and looks good and the offensive line — you tell me what the limit is for this football team.”