AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

Browns HC Freddie Kitchens said QB Baker Mayfield is “substantially better” at reading coverages, blitzes, and correcting their offensive line’s protection. 

Baker is substantially better at reading coverages, deciphering blitzes, fixing the protections and recognizing the blitzes,” Kitchens said, via Scott Petrak of BrownsZone.com. “He is better in a lot of areas.”

Kitchens also praised Mayfield’s ability to escape and play outside of the pocket. 

What he does very well and you can’t really teach is the escapability, getting outside the pocket and doing something with it then,” Kitchens said. “I do not think you can teach that part of it once you are outside of the pocket.

  • ESPN’s Tony Grossi writes that newly-signed Browns WR Braxton Miller is auditioning for a roster spot in the team’s fourth preseason game, with his ability as a returner intriguing the team. 
  • Browns TE Seth DeValve has worked as the team’s H-back, doing more fullback-type work as he tries to showcase his versatility for Kitchens and secure a roster spot: “He’s got the body type, got the athletic ability to get through the hole. Sometimes guys 6-5 and 6-6 struggle to get down and get their pads under somebody else. He looks more like the part. We’re gonna have a tight end that can do that.”
  • Browns G Eric Kush has apparently won the starting right guard spot: “I just do what I am told. Every day, I come here to practice, work my butt off to try and improve something, do what I am told and have as much fun as I can while I am doing it, playing this great game and trying to get better every day.” 
  • Browns RB Kareem Hunt won’t be allowed at the team facility starting Saturday at 4 p.m. while he serves his eight-game suspension. (Scott Petrak)
  • Because Browns WR Antonio Callaway was suspended for a violation of the substance abuse policy and not the personal conduct policy, he will be allowed to remain with the team for his four-game suspension. 

Ravens

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec can’t see the Ravens getting anything more than a sixth or seventh-round pick, if that, for RB Kenneth Dixon
  • Zrebiec believes WR Seth Roberts is ahead of Jaleel Scott on the depth chart and Baltimore will have to keep six wideouts if it wants to keep Scott.
  • Zrebiec adds WR Michael Floyd is probably on the wrong side of the bubble.
  • Zrebiec thinks the three hardest cuts could be Scott, CB Maurice Canady and rookie UDFA LB Otaro Alaka.
  • While it’s early to look at the 2020 draft, Zrebiec forecasts pass rusher being a need for the Ravens with the lack of a premier player currently at the position and Matt Judon entering a contract year. 
  • Zrebiec says the Ravens were interested in Rams LB Clay Matthews, Seahawks DE Ezekiel Ansah, Colts DE Justin Houston, Panthers DL Gerald McCoy, and LB Brian Burns this offseason, failing to land any of them. 
  • That said, Zrebiec doesn’t get the sense the Ravens are one of the teams seriously in the mix for Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney.

Steelers

The Steelers and CB Joe Haden are still working on a contract extension, but the two sides face a deadline of sorts. Pittsburgh typically does not negotiate past the start of the regular season, which is coming up in a week and a half. 

“We’re still working,” Haden said via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It’s been a long process. I’m still optimistic, still hoping that everything goes down, but time is ticking. We’ve got a couple days, and we’ll figure it out.”

  • Steelers placed DB Brian Allen on injured reserve after clearing waivers. 
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