AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers

Bengals

Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard says he’s not worried about his contract situation.

“It’s not a thought at all,” Dennard said, via Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’m just focused on football and trying to be the best Darqueze Dennard I can be, be the best football player I can be and help the team win. I mean, I’m not too much worried about contracts. That will figure itself out.

despite using a first-round pick on CB William Jackson III and Dennard dealing with injuries.

“I think a lot of people was thinking ‘why?’ I haven’t done anything, I’ve been hurt. Why would they pick it up?” Dennard said. “But obviously they seen somethin’ and it just so happened I had a solid year last year, played all 16 games and I think I did pretty well. I think it kind of goes to that same mantra. If you do what you’re supposed to do, just be professional about things, everything will work out on its own.”

Browns

Browns HC Hue Jackson says he expects a “huge jump” from second-year TE David Njoku this season.

“I expect to see a huge jump,” Jackson said, via ClevelandBrowns.com. “He’s very athletic. He can catch and run. He’s going to be one of our playmakers.”

I think for a young player that plays that kind of position week in and week out of blocking those outside linebackers and defensive ends, you wear down towards the end of the year,” Jackson added. “If anything I can say for David, that’s what I saw. Just the grind of playing a lot of football, a lot of minutes, that you look back and say, ‘Wow, this was tough.’”

Steelers

  • Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes that all indications are that the Steelers plan to utilize free agent acquisition Morgan Burnett in a hybrid role that will have him operate as run-stopper in early down-and-distance situations while covering the middle-third of the field on passing downs.
  • Benz mentions that the Steelers will likely turn to first-round pick Terrell Edmunds when it comes to deep-middle/over-the-top duties.
  • Benz expects Sean Davis to get the first shot at handling the free safety job.

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