In Year 6, Bengals' A.J. Green and Andy Dalton are 'like a bolt nut'

CINCINNATI -- Whether it was in one-on-ones, seven-on-sevens or full-team drills, it didn't matter.

Whenever Andy Dalton threw a football in A.J. Green's direction during the Cincinnati Bengals' open organized team activity practice Tuesday, the veteran wide receiver was practically assured of catching the pass, regardless of how good the coverage on him was. There might have been just one throw all day in which they didn't connect.

According to cornerback Adam Jones, who Green slipped past once in the practice for a deep-ball reception, the team's quarterback and receiver are on the same page so far this spring. In his eyes, and theirs, it shouldn't be any other way.

"That's what they're supposed to do," Jones said. "Those guys have been together what, five or six years now? The chemistry between those two should be like a bolt nut. It should go in every time."

Selected by the Bengals in the first and second rounds of the 2011 draft, Green and Dalton are entering their sixth seasons.

"We've been playing together for a long time," Dalton said. "We feel comfortable. I know where he's going to be. I know what to expect from him."

They have had some great moments, and a few disappointing ones, along the way.

The Dalton-Green combination has averaged 79 completions the past five seasons, and that includes numbers from Green's injury-riddled 2014, and Dalton's injury-plagued 2015. Last season, Dalton missed the final three regular-season games with a broken thumb. The year before that, Green missed parts of six games because of toe and head injuries.

Since 2011, the Dalton-to-Green connection has yielded 40 touchdown passes, including double-digit totals in 2012 and 2013.

However, that connection has engineered 31 interceptions for defenses, too, including 12 in 2013. In the playoffs, the pairing has been virtually nonexistent, with Green having never caught a touchdown pass from Dalton in the postseason. Dalton has thrown four interceptions while targeting Green in the playoffs, and he's only amassed 161 yards on postseason passes that Green catches. It's important to note that because of their respective injuries the past two seasons, Dalton and Green didn't play together in the 2014 and 2015 playoffs.

Dalton said the on-field relationship between himself and Green should be smooth right now because of how long they have been together. As two of the oldest skill players in an offense that has changed coordinators, he knows both of them will need to remain vocal.

"When I'm on the field, if something doesn't go exactly as it's planned, I'm going to say something before a coach is going to say something," Dalton said. "I'm going to get to it quicker and try to get it corrected.

"A.J.'s to the point where he's not a young guy anymore. He's been around a while; he has all the experience and so he'll be able to help guys out. That's part of the process of the longer you play, you can help the guys around you."

The mere observation of Dalton and Green going live together for the first time has already had an effect on second-round rookie Tyler Boyd.

"It was great just seeing that combination out there, period, because those are some of the two best to do it in this league," Boyd said. "And just seeing them work motivated me to go out there and want to work with them so I can hopefully play alongside the guys and help them win."