AFC North Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Bengals OL coach Jim Turner said OL Cordy Glenn will continue playing tackle after converting to guard due to OT Jonah Williams (shoulder) likely missing all of 2019. 

We knew we wanted to have Cordy next to Jonah, whether it was tackle or guard,” Turner said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s official site. “Cordy has been a real pro through this whole thing and we have no doubt he’ll continue to be as we move ahead. We were looking for Jonah to learn from Cordy playing next to him and he still will, but it’s going to be more now as a teacher.

Turner said that OL Trey Hopkins, Christian Westerman, and Mike Jordan are “in the mix” for playing time, while veteran John Jerry is another player who “knows what to do in our system.”

You really like a guy like Trey Hopkins. He’s a guy that’s in the mix,” Turner said. “Westerman is still in the mix. Mike Jordan is a young guy and now he could end up being more of a factor. We’ll see how it plays out. John Jerry is a guy that’s been around and knows what to do in our system. He’s going to help these guys. That’s a good pickup for us.

Regarding Williams’ torn labrum, Turner believes the rookie will come to a full recovery and will be with the Bengals “for a long time.

It’s an obstacle. But it’s an obstacle he can overcome,” said Turner. “He’s going to have a full recovery, he’s going to learn a lot this year and he’s going to be a key guy in this organization for a long time.”

Ravens

With defensive pillars like DE Terrell Suggs, LB C.J. Mosley and S Eric Weddle departing in free agency, Ravens S Tony Jefferson says he’s ready to step up into a bigger role as a player in 2019. 

“I’ve yet to play my best ball,” Jefferson said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “I think it’s ahead of me, and I believe in my heart that this year will be one of the better years of my career. I’m comfortable and in a system I believe in. Obviously, I had some learning curves my first year here. The more comfortable I get, the faster I can play, the more I can be myself.”

Jefferson will also be counted on to provide leadership for the Ravens defense, particularly in the secondary after Weddle departed for Los Angeles and the Rams. Now in his seventh season, Jefferson says he’s ready. 

“Weddle was a big presence back there, and I think I have the capability of being able to do that,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not 12 years in the league how he’s been, but this is Year 7 for me. I think I’ve got a good grasp of what he’s given to the game and what he’s given to this organization. I’ve gotten an opportunity to watch him, and I think I’m in a good place for that.”

Though he won’t have Weddle next to him, Jefferson’s new safety partner for 2019, Earl Thomas, is no slouch. Both are recovering from injuries that shortened their 2018 seasons and have spent some time with each other in the training room this offseason, but both expect to be ready for training camp. 

“He’s a very smart, instinctive football player,” Jefferson said. “We’re going to play to each other’s strengths. I think we both kind of play the same. We go 100 miles an hour: react and go. That’s kind of our deal. But like I said, I think his instincts are what separates him from a lot of players, being able to dissect plays and stuff like that.”

Steelers

Steelers LB Ryan Shazier continues to work towards a return to an NFL field after a devastating spinal injury in December, 2017, put even walking in question. Shazier is on the Steeler’s PUP list and can continue to draw a salary and access medical insurance as he works toward a return with his trainer and friend Jerome Howard. 

“I still want to make the Hall of Fame, still want to be the best linebacker in the NFL,” Shazier said via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Dave Furones. “I’m not giving up on my goals, and the doctors said don’t give up on my goals, so there’s no problem with me doing that. I’m just going to keep working, and hopefully I’m going to be back as soon as I can.”

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