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Bengals take WR Green with 4th overall pick
CINCINNATI (AP) - A.J. Green tweets maybe once a week. He doesn't preen or celebrate. In many ways, he's the opposite of Chad Ochocinco.
Soon, he could be his replacement.
The Bengals took the receiver from Georgia with the fourth overall pick on Thursday night, giving themselves a pass-catching threat who could quickly become their new No. 1 guy, one that approaches things much differently than Ochocinco.
"I'm one of the guys that's always behind the scenes and always low-key," Green said, on a conference call. "I just try to do my job."
The last time the Bengals made a receiver their top choice was 2000, when they took Florida State's Peter Warrick _ also with the fourth overall pick. He never amounted to much in an offense that was in flux at quarterback much of the time.
Green is coming to a team that's in flux at receiver and quarterback.
Terrell Owens was Cincinnati's top receiver last season, but had a one-year deal and won't be back. The Bengals already have given his locker to a defensive player.
Ochocinco has a year left on his deal, but the 33-year-old receiver doesn't expect the Bengals to keep him around and he's not hesitant to say it.
Before the draft, Ochocinco tweeted about Green: "He'd be perfect, i've done all i can, my time is up." A few minutes before the draft began, Ochocinco tweeted: "Those watching the draft keep me informed and let's all pray A.J. Green goes to Cincy at (No.) 4. Awesome wideout."
And, when the Bengals went ahead and picked him, Ochocinco responded: "Prayer (No.) 1 answered getting a beast at wide receiver in AJ Green, God please answer pray (No.) 2."
The Bengals were coy about Ochocinco's other prayer: Green taking his place in Cincinnati.
"This has no bearing or reflection whatsoever on anybody here or not here," coach Marvin Lewis said.
Green became one of Georgia's all-time best receivers in only three seasons, catching 166 passes for 2,542 yards and 23 touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said the Bengals considered Green the top-ranked offensive player "by a landslide."
"I'm fired up, man," said Gruden, who replaced Bob Bratkowski as offensive coordinator after Cincinnati's 4-12 season. "We're excited to start drawing up plays for him right now. I'm probably going to be going on the chalkboard as soon as this draft is over and draw up about 20 more for him."
The overriding question: Who will throw to him?
Carson Palmer told the team in January that he will retire if he's not traded. The Bengals have only two winning seasons in the last 20 years, and Palmer wants out. Owner Mike Brown has so far refused the request, setting up a stalemate.
The other two quarterbacks on the roster are Palmer's younger brother, Jordan, and Dan LeFevour, who didn't get into a game as a rookie last season. Jordan Palmer has appeared in four NFL games, throwing 15 passes total. It's unclear who will be Green's quarterback when the season begins.
"We'll find somebody to throw to him," Gruden said. "Somebody will be here. Somebody will be delighted to have him and (Jerome) Simpson and all our receivers that are here, and (Jordan) Shipley and (Jermaine) Gresham. Things are looking bright."
Gruden didn't mention Ochocinco. Later, he noted it's up to Brown and Lewis to decide the receiver's fate.
"There's been a lot said on Twitter and all that stuff," Gruden said.
The Bengals hoped a desirable quarterback would slip to the second round. Green had no idea who would be around him when the season begins.
"You know, it's a little uncertainty," Green said.
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