AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens

     

Bengals

Bengals RB Giovani Bernard has a more versatile role than just a change of pace back under new HC Zac Taylor, as he’s been split out wide for some plays. He says as a whole the team is adjusting well to the new scheme. 

“Just getting accustomed to the new playbook and accustomed to the change,” Bernard said via Michael LaPlaca of the team’s website. “Everybody is really trying to understand how Coach Taylor wants this team to be ran. I think everybody is really buying in. Obviously right now it’s just trying to pick up the X’s and O’s as time gets rolling we’ll understand it a bit more and be ready for Week One.”

Browns

Browns RB Duke Johnson said he’s not worried about how his trade requests have affected the rest of the locker room. He added he was unaware that other teammates approached QB Baker Mayfield for his comments publicly criticizing Johnson. 

“I don’t really concern myself with that,” Johnson said via George Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Ravens

Durability questions have plagued Ravens TE Hayden Hurst so far in his short career. Hurst missed the first four games of 2018 with a fractured foot and was held out of portions of spring practices with a hamstring injury. Despite that, Hurst says he’ll be “good to go” for training camp at the end of July. 

“Kind of felt it all last year, was never really at 100 percent,” Hurst said via 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore. “Obviously, you kind of have the aches and pains of a screw being in my foot. But I’m good to go now, all healthy, don’t feel it and feel 100 percent.”

Hurst said he added 15 pounds of muscle to get up to around 260 pounds instead of the 247 he played at last season. Hurst says he can tell a difference already from 2018 when he felt like he was “getting pushed around a little bit.”

“I just feel strong,” Hurst said. “When I’m in and out of cuts and guys are on me at the top of my routes, I’m able to get separation better. Obviously I’m able to hold the point of attack better blocking and stuff, so that’s going to be fun. I’m just excited. It’s going to be a really good year.”

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