Tuesday, June 24, 2014
A.J. Green returned to Summerville on Saturday and he wasn't alone.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection for the Cincinnati Bengals brought more than a dozen professional football players and training experts to Memorial Stadium for the second annual A.J. Green Skills Camp.
“Being on this field brings back memories,” Green said. “It's good to be able to come back here and work with the high school players in this community.”
However the purpose of his trip wasn't reminiscing; it was teaching.
During the camp high school-aged football players were put through speed, strength and agility drills and received valuable advice from athletes who know first hand what it takes to reach and compete in the NFL.
Among them were three of Green's teammates, Bengals' wide receivers Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu and defensive back Chris Lewis-Harris. Other players who helped the Summerville High School alumnus with his skills camp included Houston Texans' linebacker Akeem Dent, Cleveland Browns' receiver Andrew Hawkins, Miami Dolphins' receiver Kevin Cone, Atlanta Falcons' defensive end Tyuson Jackson, Oakland Raiders' receiver Brice Butler, Kansas City Chiefs' linebacker Kendrell Bell and NFL free agents Jamal Anderson and Mohamed Massaquoi. Anderson is a defensive end and Massaquoi is a receiver.
Once Green wraps up his series of summer camps, he plans to return his focus to his own training and the lofty goals he has set for next season. Cincinnati has earned a wildcard playoff berth the past three years, which is an improvement from past seasons. However, the Bengals didn't manage to advance past the opening round any of those years.
“We are out to win a playoff game,” Green said. “We need to get over that hump so that is what I'm going to focus on. The NFL is tough but that is why you just have to keep working and give it your all. We have a good team so we just need to make sure we are prepared to do whatever we need to do.”