AFC North Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

The Bengals haven’t generated the headlines of some of their other divisional opponents this offseason. But RB Joe Mixon says it would be a mistake to overlook Cincinnati. 

“Everybody is starting to buy in,” Mixon said via SiriusXM NFL Radio. “We’re all excited to be there. Coach Taylor, the tradition that he’s trying to bring to us and things like that. I believe that we’re definitely going to be a real-life contender coming up here this next season. You know, people sleep on us and things like that. That’s fine, we’ll let them sleep. At the same time, I believe we’re going to shock a lot of people.”

  • Per Paul Dehner, Bengals HC Zac Taylor says first-round OT Jonah Williams was “dinged up” at OTA’s last week. 
  • Taylor declined to elaborate further, saying he wanted to wait for the doctor’s assessment on the severity of the injury. 
  • Former NFL CB Cortland Finnegan is interning with the Bengals as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program. (Tom Pelissero)

Ravens

Ravens DE Tyus Bowser is one of the pass rushers Baltimore will be counting on to step up their production after losing mainstays like Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith

“Of course you hate to see those guys go,” Bowser said via Clifton Brown of the team’s website. “You develop a relationship with them. You learn from them. You see the film and you try to critique your game off them. At the same time, it’s a business. Whenever stuff happens, next man up. I’m going to show what I can do.”

Per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Ravens DT Michael Pierce was sent off the field at minicamp for lack of conditioning according to HC John Harbaugh. Pierce checked into minicamp looking heavier than his listed weight of 340 pounds.

“He’s not ready to practice from a safety standpoint and for his own health,” Harbaugh said. “We recognize that and pulled him off.”

  • Ravens DB Cyrus Jones has been out all spring with a health issue, per Harbaugh, though he’s expected back for training camp: “It’s not for me to describe it exactly. “He had kind of an episode a few months ago. He’s not cleared to practice at this time.” (Hensley)

Steelers

Expectations are high for Steelers LB Bud Dupree after Pittsburgh picked up his fifth-year option for $9.2 million.

“Everybody is waiting on that year to come,” Dupree said via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “I know and I feel this year will be the year to show the person I am and just put everything together.”

Converting pressures to sacks is the main focus for Dupree. He finished 2018 with only 5.5 sacks, but was close in a number of other situations. 

“Last year, I had double-digit sacks in the books — we can watch the film, put it up,” Dupree said. “You can see I had double-digit sacks; it’s just that I didn’t finish plays. I got held on four plays, blatant holds. Those should have been strip sacks, missed sacks, people in my arms. This year, I have to capitalize on it. If they hold me, I have to rip through the hold and get the sack. If I grab the quarterback, I can’t miss him. I have to finish that. Then it will be a big year, not only for me, but for the team.”

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