AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens

     

Bengals

  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. writes Bengals No. 1 overall QB Joe Burrow has been blowing everyone away during camp. He looks to be in complete control of the offense and his performance on the field has been improving. 
  • After missing his entire rookie season, LT Jonah Williams has been able to hold his own and looks like he should be a decent starter in 2020, per Dehner.
  • Because of his hamstring injury, Dehner expects second-round WR Tee Higgins to be ramped up slowly in the offense and not have a starting role out of the gate. 
  • Neither third-round LB Logan Wilson nor fourth-round LB Akeem Davis-Gaither have really stood out, good or bad, according to Dehner. 
  • Sixth-round OL Hakeem Adeniji has earned a backup job and could start if an injury knocks someone out this year. Dehner adds seventh-round LB Markus Bailey has also earned a spot on the team. 
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor has been impressed with 2019 third-round LB Germaine Pratt: “Pratt was a rookie last year and he’s not playing like a rookie this year. He’s stepped up and made the strides he needed to make.” (Tyler Dragon)

Browns

The Browns are doing everything they can to make sure first-round OT Jedrick Wills is ready to open the season as their starting left tackle. That’s included a murderer’s row of pass rushers in practice, with Wills facing off against DEs Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon and DT Sheldon Richardson to prepare him for any type of player he might face this year. 

“In terms of his [Garrett’s] one-on-ones getting matched up on Jedrick, we’re trying to give Jedrick as many different looks as possible, whether it’s a speed rusher, a power rusher or a combination-type player,” Browns OL coach Bill Callahan said via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “We’re just trying to get as many different people on him to give him that exposure of the speed, quickness and power that he’s going to face.”

In addition to the learning curve all rookies are facing this year, Wills is moving to the left side after playing right tackle in college at Alabama. Callahan said he’s confident in what they’ve done to prepare Wills, they just need to see what happens when the real action starts. 

“Rookies across the league are behind the curve,” Callahan said. “Our goal is to bring him up to speed as fast as we can. We’ve really inundated him with techniques and walkthroughs. We’ve gone through several measures in the classroom showing him different players doing the techniques that we’re asking of him. The progress has been positive, but you just don’t know until you go up against live competition.”

Ravens

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson beat his own record for rushing attempts from a quarterback in 2019, recording 176 carries after tallying 147 as a rookie. Jackson set another record with 1,206 rushing yards and his mobility is a huge part of his game. However, Ravens OC Greg Roman wasn’t willing to reveal if Baltimore would become more judicious about using Jackson’s legs. 

“Obviously, Lamar’s skill set and dynamic athletic ability — that’s something we can [have] available every week and do a little bit more of it this week and a little bit less of it the next week,” Roman said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “I think that’s always on the table, those type of things. I think it’s also an in-game feel for how the game is going and how the defense is playing. I think we’re at the point now where we have a pretty good menu when we go into a game. We can see how the game is going and understand that things are going to change in the course of a game. I think it’s something we can definitely hang our hat on at times and other times we won’t.”

  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh noted the third tight end job is “to be determined” between Eli Wolf and Jerell Adams, though FB Patrick Ricard could also be an option to fill the role: “[He] does a lot of those things for us as well.” (Jeff Zrebiec)

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