AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

Browns HC Freddie Kitchens said he is not considering relinquishing play-calling duties to OC Todd Monken

That is not even feasible. That is not being considered,” Kitchens said, via Marla Ridenour of the Beacon Journal.  

Kitchens also indicated that there has not been difficulty installing Monken’s offensive philosophy to his gameplan. 

This is 100 percent the Cleveland Browns offense. We are not going to start that,” Kitchens said.

Ravens

The Ravens’ starting edge rushers have performed well through three games, with Matt Judon continuing his strong play in a contract year and veteran Pernell McPhee locking up the other starting spot. However, the two are playing 79 and 58 percent of the defensive snaps respectively as backups Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser haven’t inspired enough confidence to give the veterans a break. 

“They need to be better,” Ravens HC John Harbaugh said via the Baltimore Sun’s Daniel Oyefusi. “We need to get more pressure, more sacks from those guys. They’ll probably tell you they need more reps. I would say earn more reps.”

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes the Ravens have “legitimate” interest in Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey, however, they aren’t likely to give up the two first-round picks Jacksonville is asking for. 

Steelers

Zero wins and three losses is not where the Steelers thought they would be to start the season. The offense has struggled to replace the star power it’s lost on offense the past two seasons and the defense hasn’t found its groove to pick up the slack yet. However, Steelers DE Cameron Heyward said the team is sticking together. 

“It’s easy not to point the finger,” said Heyward via Teresa Varley of the team’s website. “You look at our tape, there are mistakes everywhere. For any guy pointing the finger, I’ll break their finger if they do.”

Next up for Pittsburgh is a division matchup against the also 0-3 Bengals on Monday night football. While the odds are long for teams that start 0-3 to make the playoffs, it’s not impossible, though it starts with a win on Monday.

“We just have to get this ‘W’,” Heyward said. “That”s all it comes down to. I don’t care how it gets done, it has to get done. Our execution has to be flawless from here on out. Our room for error is out the window. We have to be perfect in everything we do, especially in practice. It’s my job to keep us accountable. It’s my job to keep guys ready for the opportunity. Both teams are 0-3 but one team is going to be 1-3 after this game.”

  • According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger underwent surgery on his elbow Monday in Los Angeles. 
  • The Steelers issued the following statement: ”Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season.” (Schefter)
  • Steelers TE Vance McDonald had his arm in a sling at the team facility Tuesday. (Dale Lolley)
  • The Steelers traded for TE Nick Vannett not because they believe McDonald’s injury is serious, but because they’re looking for an upgrade at the second tight end spot. (Gerry Dulac)
  • Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said the Steelers had been after Vannett for a while. (Bob Condotta)
  • The Steelers worked out TE Alize Mack prior to signing him to their practice squad. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Multiple NFL teams have commented on how aggressive the Steelers have been with trades this season; notably acquiring DB Minkah Fitzpatrick and Vannett eight days apart. (Schefter)

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