Green Moved to the South at Senior Bowl and is Having a Strong Week
(This article was updated with new content on Jan. 23.)
STILLWATER -- With the injuries and pull outs of cornerbacks at the 2020 Senior Bowl, Oklahoma State corner A.J. Green, originally designated for the North team, is playing for the South and has had a good week of practice with all that is really left now is the game at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and you can see it on the NFL Network.
The South team as did the North worked in the South Alabama indoor facility on Thursday because of wet and cold conditions outside. Green did not see as much action on Thursday as quarterbacks seemed to throw away from him.
In an 11-v-11 work on the goal line, Oregon's Justin Herbert hit Ohio State receiver Austin Mack on a slant, Green was on him but it was a solid pitch and catch play for a touchdown with Green tackling Mack as he got in the end zone.
Later in work on third down situations, Green made a solid break-up on a pass intended for Texas receiver Devin Duvernay. On a couple of plays Green ended up on the tight end and made a good play jumping on a dig route by Josiah Degaura of Cincinnati.
Later in two minute drill with Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts at quarterback, Green made a play and broke up another dig this time intended for Vanderbilt tight end Jared Pinkney. Just a few plays later Green was cleared out and that made way for Hurts to hit LSU tight end Stephen Sullivan for a 12-yard gain and Green came up to make the stop.
Green has been coached this week by Lou Anarumo, the defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals and a veteran secondary coach in the NFL having been in that position with the New York Giants and previous to that the Miami Dolphins.
Anarumo seems to like the Cowboys 6-1, 190-pound big-style corner as on one play in seven-on-seven on Wednesday where Green was beaten on the outside, but Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert missed on his delivery and Clemson safety K'Von Wallace, squating in the seam, picked the pass off he joked with A.J.
"Hey nine, Mr. Green," called Anarumo walking out to Green wearing jersey number nine with his white OSU logo'd helmet. "We're man on the outside, just run and cover, okay?"
Anarumo did not have to correct much on Wednesday as Green seemed to love being in man coverage using inside leverage and several times did a nice job on Texas receiver Collin Johnson. Green had covered Johnson well throughout their college years.
In the second practice in Mobile on Wednesday in seven-on-seven, Green did a nice job on Johnson in a flat route. Johnson caught the ball but was smothered for a short gain.
Later, in what may have been Green's best play of the day during full team 11-on-11, Johnson ran a dig route and Green was all over him and got a clean break up.
Other highlights for Green on Wednesday included in seven-on-seven, Green covering Florida's Van Jefferson, who had been tearing up the defense on Tuesday and Wednesday. Green was lined up man on Jefferson, who was lined up inside in twins and then ran an exchange with the outside receiver. Both defensive backs handled the footwork well and Green was step for step with Jefferson, who at Florida had a career 175 receptions for 2,159-yards and 16 touchdowns.
Green also did a nice job with his reads on zone as he slipped up only once that we saw and made his correction mid-play and did not allow a catch on the play.
His struggles were more in the one-on-one drills as Florida's Jefferson had some good plays on Green including a well defensed play in the end zone on a vertical route where Green had his hand on the ball and Jefferson made a spectacular grab.
On Tuesday, Green got mixed reviews from our contacts.
Our good friend Charles Davis from FOX and the NFL Network, who will do the game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. said this:
"A.J. battled yesterday, had some wins and losses in one on one coverage drills," Davis text us. "He did get handsy, as your scouting report indicated, but he also was able to win without penalty on a couple of other reps. I think he had a day similar to most. Wednesday and Thursday are the big ones for him."
We now know that Wednesday and Thursday went well for Green.
Prior to heading to Mobile, Green has been in Florida working out and doing NFL Combine training at IMG Academy. He will return there after the game on Saturday and resume training.