Improved communication with Cardinals’ Kyler Murray atop A.J. Green’s 2022 list
Last season left a bad taste in Arizona Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green’s mouth for more reasons than one.
Not only did the team collapse in the back half of the season, the wide receiver’s number also took a dip. From an eye test standpoint, there was a clear disconnect at times between Green and quarterback Kyler Murray, highlighted by the duo’s miscommunication in a Thursday Night Football loss to the Green Bay Packers.
But instead of pointing fingers and stewing in last season’s failures, Green is taking it upon himself to improve on last season’s finish after signing a one-year deal worth a reported $3 million last Thursday.
For Green, it’s about getting back on track with a team that showed so much promise over a large part of the season.
“I think there’s a lot of room (to grow),” Green said Monday. “I think for me it’s just communicating with (Murray) on what I see or what he wants me to do. … I think last year that was a lack on my part. I didn’t really communicate with him about stuff like that because I didn’t want to put a lot of stuff on his plate.
“But for me, it’s be more in his face, we’re talking together. … Don’t be hesitant when it comes to my play. … Little things like that. Second year is going to be big for that.”
Green got off to a strong start last season, recording 24 catches (35 targets) for 406 yards and three touchdowns over the first seven matchups. He posted four games of at least 66 yards opposite DeAndre Hopkins.
Unfortunately for Arizona, his production waned in the second half of the season to the tune of 25 catches for 392 yards and no scores over the final eight games of the season.
It wasn’t solely on Green, however, as injuries to Hopkins and other key contributors put a kibosh on the team’s momentum in the second half of the season.
But after getting his feet wet in head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense and having another offseason to build that rapport with Murray, Green is confident he can get back to or improve upon his early 2021 numbers.
It all starts with the team’s voluntary strength and conditioning program kicking off Tuesday.
“It definitely left a bad taste in my mouth that I wanted to get back here and get this thing rolling and try and get this thing on track again,” Green said.