AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • Per the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon, Bengals QB Andy Dalton acknowledged Thursday this could be his final week as Cincinnati’s starting quarterback: “I understand the possibility of it. So, we’ll have to wait and see once the season’s over and see what happens. But I definitely understand the possibility of that.”
  • Dalton added he would look for starting positions elsewhere if he leaves Cincinnati: “It’s not the end of my career.” (Ben Baby)
  • The Bengals will likely place CB William Jackson on injured reserve soon. (Baby)

Browns

Current Browns DC Steve Wilks knows a little bit about quick hooks for coaches given Arizona fired him after just one year in 2018. Wilks says he doesn’t see the need for a similar situation in Cleveland despite speculation about Browns HC Freddie Kitchens‘ job security going forward and Kitchens needs more than just a year. 

“It takes time to build a culture, it takes time to implement your system and get guys on the same page,” Wilks said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Sometimes the business is what it is, but without a doubt I think Freddie definitely is the guy for this job. In what he’s been able to do in a short period of time, you can see the progress in the things that we’re doing as far as moving forward. We’ve got a lot of guys hurt. We’re not making any excuses, but it has been the case. But the guys continue to play hard and find a way to win.”

  • Browns WR Jarvis Landry will visit a hip specialist after the season to determine if he needs surgery. (Cabot)
  • Landry has played the entire season with the injury and said doctors first discovered it back in OTA’s: “Just talking to the doctors & the early scans from OTAs and things like that, I began with a fractured sacrum & then from there everything else just kinda started going bad.” (Marla Ridenour)

Ravens

Ravens DC Don Martindale has generated some buzz as a potential head-coaching candidate this offseason based on his work revamping Baltimore’s defense on the fly this season. However, the 56-year-old assistant says it would take a perfect situation to pull him and his family from Baltimore. 

“I don’t know anything more,” Martindale said via Pro Football Talk. “It doesn’t really matter until you get a call, but we love this city, we love this organization here. It would have to be a dream-type job to take, where you know you can build a winning culture like we have here.”

  • Per the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens ST coach Chris Horton said rookie third-string QB Trace McSorely could play some special teams on Sunday. 

Steelers

Though no one in the organization would talk about it, Steelers UDFA QB Devlin Hodges was on a short leash entering Sunday’s game after throwing four interceptions in his last outing. Hodges ended up getting pulled before re-entering the game after QB Mason Rudolph was injured. With Rudolph now out for the season, Hodges is back in the starting lineup and claiming his confidence isn’t phased. 

“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in myself and my guys. Now, we just have to go out and do it,” Hodges said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Joe Rutter.

Hodges acknowledged going in and out of the game makes it tough to establish a rhythm. But his performance in that area garnered praise from the coaching staff on Sunday.  

“It’s definitely tough,” Hodges said. “Coach told me I did a good job of staying in the game. Once I got benched, I was back into the position of being one play away, and I ended up having to go back out there and give us a chance to win. It’s tough, but you have to be a team player.”

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