AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Bengals fourth-round rookie QB Ryan Finley made the wrong kind of news during OTA’s and minicamp after the Bengals drafted him this year. In an environment designed to be easy for quarterbacks throwing in shorts and helmets with receivers going against air, Finley’s passes consistently fluttered off the mark. It turns out that was because the rookie was adjusting to a small but pivotal change asked of him — taking the snap with the left foot forward instead of his right. 

“That’s what we do here,” Bengals QB coach Alex Van Pelt said. “That’s our philosophical belief. Our footwork here is left foot forward. He had never done that. So for him, it was like drawing left-handed for the first time.”

Finley eventually got used to the change and improved enough in the preseason to take the backup job away from Jeff Driskel. Now, Finley will start for the Bengals for the rest of the season starting Sunday against the Ravens and will be ready to put his best foot forward. 

“It was a big change,” Bengals OC Brian Callahan said. “He’s a pretty natural passer, but everything starts from the ground up at quarterback. If your feet are off, the throw’s going to be off. It’s kind of finite details and things that most people who aren’t trained to look at it might not see. But you get a chance to really drill in on that stuff, and once we settled his feet down, he became markedly better.”

Browns

Browns RB Kareem Hunt says he’s had “a lot of time to just sit and reflect and think” during his eight-game suspension, but is now ready to return to game action. 

“I’m under a microscope. I’m not trying to put anything in jeopardy,” Hunt said, via ESPN.com. “I had a lot of time to think about ‘If I get in this situation, how am I going to handle this? If I get in this situation, how am I going to handle that? This happened, how am I going to handle that?‘”

Hunt is aware that he will be “under the microscope” moving forward. 

“I’m under a microscope. I’m not trying to put anything in jeopardy,” Hunt said. “I had a lot of time to think about ‘If I get in this situation, how am I going to handle this? If I get in this situation, how am I going to handle that? This happened, how am I going to handle that?‘”

A lot of mixed emotions,” Hunt added. “It’s going to be a very fun emotional game, and I’m definitely going to be excited to get out there.

Ravens

Steelers

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