AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens



The Bengals are hoping WR John Ross can finally translate his record-breaking speed to the field this year. 

“With John he’s still thinking,” WR Tyler Boyd said via Michael LaPlaca of the team’s official website. “He’s thinking and then he reacts. I feel like once he gets comfortable and makes plays he’ll be fine. He’s just got to cut it loose. He’s a great player. He runs his routes clean and he’s the fastest guy in the league. Once it comes to him and he can just react, it’ll be like a hot knife through butter.” 

After playing only 17 snaps his rookie year, Ross improved with 21 catches in his second season. He’s hoping new HC Zac Taylor‘s offense helps him see another jump forward. 

“I love it,” Ross said about the new offense. “I think it will play to all of our strengths. We all complement each other really well in a way that will be hard to defend with everyone on the field. . . . I felt like my year one was last year because I played 17 plays my first year. It was just get in there and run around a little bit. Last year I got a lot of reps and got good experience. It is almost like I got a redshirt year. I got the gist of things and now I know what to look for.”


Browns HC Freddie Kitchens told reporters on Thursday that he’s optimistic about their chances of signing free agent DT Gerald McCoy, even though he’s meeting with other prospective teams. 

We want Gerald to go out and look at other places because when he makes the commitment here, we want him to be all in because everybody that’s going to be here is going to be all in, and that’s what we need to get to where we’re going,” Kitchens said, via “So we’re fine with him taking a look at everybody else. All right? Because we’ve told him who we were, and if that’s who he wants, he’ll end up here, and he knows the direction we’re headed.”

“He’s been in the league a long time,” Kitchens said of McCoy. “He’s played 10 years. He’s been to the fire. He would offer all those things. We’re still young up front, in a lot of areas. Even with the guys we signed this year, we’re still young relatively speaking.

“You know leadership is being able to go out and do something and let somebody see you do it and leadership it can also be directing you off the field, on the field and everything else. There’s a lot of different aspects of leadership, and we’re going to try to create more than just one leader.”


Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti thought that veteran LB Terrell Suggs would “take less” to stay with the Ravens, but ended up getting “outbid” by Arizona. 

I thought he’d take less to stay here and I was wrong,” said Bisciotti, via Zrebiec. “I know that we were close when we were trying to get Sizzle locked up. The Arizona Cardinals, they wanted him bad enough to outbid us.

  • As for the Ravens’ receiving corps, Bisciotti says he has “faith” in Willie Snead and Chris Moore while adding that Moore could be a breakout candidate: “I have no idea. I don’t know what to expect from them. I just want them to be healthy. If they’re injured like others in the past, I have faith in Willie Snead and Chris Moore. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chris Moore being a breakout candidate. (Jamison Hensley)
  • According to Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens first-round WR Marquise Brown still recovering from Lisfranc surgery, but the hope is that he can be back for training camp.
  • Zrebiec mentions that Ravens third-round WR Miles Boykin has been sidelined with a hamstring strain, but he appears to be getting closer to return.
  • Zrebiec adds that G Alex Lewis is coming off shoulder surgery and could be back for start of training camp while S Tony Jefferson also still recovering from offseason ankle surgery.
  • Ravens rookie DT Gerald Willis has been sidelined with a calf injury that he suffered during rookie minicamp.
  • Veteran WR Willie Snead had offseason surgery on his finger and the Ravens have been taking it easy with him, even though he’s been pushing to get on the field. (Jeff Zrebiec)

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