AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


Bengals OL Jim Turner spoke with Jay Morrison of The Athletic about the team’s offensive line, including the position battle at right tackle between Bobby Hart and Fred Johnson.

“I love that battle right there. I know Bobby will step up to the plate, and I know Freddy’s going to be right there. Both of them have talent, and Freddy’s got size and Bobby’s got experience. So that’s a good matchup. Bobby Hart is probably the most scrutinized player we have. But you really can’t argue with the fact that Bobby did a good job last year. I mean, Bobby chopped his penalty numbers way down, his sack numbers were way down and he had a good year,” Turner said. 

Turner also commented on G Michael Jordan making improvements as a player during the previous season.

“Just size-wise and maturity-wise, Mike will have grown so much this past year,” Turner said. “He was so much better in the last game compared to the first game. It was incredible. And he wasn’t bad in the first game he played either. He played a good amount of football last year. Mike played 667 snaps, and most of those were at left guard. He had 14 at right guard and one at tight end. But he got a lot of reps. That’s a decent amount. You’re talking about six to seven games’ worth of reps right there. So he’s not coming in off fresh off the street.”=

“The other good thing for Mike is he doesn’t have to hit a grand slam his first time out. We’ve got Alex Redmond, we’ve got Billy Price, you can’t forget about him being a factor in there. And we signed Xavier Su’a-Filo, who can really play. So I feel good that we’ll be ready. If Jonah and Mike are the starting left tackle and starting left guard in the first game, we’re going to be ready to play. There’s a sense of excitement with the new quarterback coming in obviously with the character he brings and the toughness that he’s shown. This is going to be a gritty group, and I’m looking forward to it.”



Steelers HC Mike Tomlin spoke to the media in a conference call on Thursday about the Steelers having a featured running back in James Conner, as well as a supporting cast who are capable of taking on the role in case of an injury.

“We’re excited about what the group is going to do largely,” Tomlin said, via Rutter. “Usually when it’s going well, it’s because you have a lead dog out front, and that guy is the featured runner. James is a featured guy and proven runner when healthy. We’re excited about him getting back to health and displaying that in 2020. Benny Snell is a guy that is capable of being a featured runner who plays with a physical style in a similar manner to James. He’s capable of being a James-type of guy if James is unavailable.”

  • Agent Bill Parise says that Tomlin never handed an envelope to his client, former Pittsburgh LB James Harrison, for a hit on Cleveland Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi: “Absolutely not. Never happened,” Parise told Joe Rutter of the Tribune-Review on Thursday. “I would have known that. It didn’t happen.”
  • Steelers president Art Rooney II on former LB James Harrison claiming he received “an envelope” from HC Mike Tomlin for a hit on former Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi: “I am very certain nothing like this ever happened. I have no idea why James would make a comment like this but there is simply no basis for believing anything like this.” (Dianna Russini)
  • New Steelers TE Eric Ebron announced that he has passed his physical with the team and is finally able to run and make cuts with no pain.

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