AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens

     

Bengals

  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. writes that while the Bengals could save $5 million by cutting TE C.J. Uzomah, he doesn’t see that happening as both HC Zac Taylor and QB Joe Burrow are big fans. 
  • Dehner notes Bengals RB Giovani Bernard falls in a similar category, as his status as a team leader will likely help him stay despite the possible $4.1 million in cap savings. 
  • Dehner expects the Bengals to re-sign DE Sam Hubbard and S Jessie Bates to lucrative extensions this coming August. 
  • Burrow said in an interview with Colin Cowherd he wants to focus on improving his deep ball accuracy as that aspect of his game was disappointing to him as a rookie: “Wasn’t great with the deep ball which I was pretty disappointed in because I’ve always been pretty good at that. Emphasis for me this offseason.” (Dehner)
  • Burrow was optimistic about his recovery timeline from his significant knee injury: “Things are on track to start the season the way I need to. Practice a little bit in fall camp and be ready to go.” (Dehner)
  • He expects to be ready to start Cincinnati’s season opener: “I think I’ll be ready. I think I’ll be just fine.”

Browns

Browns ST coordinator Mike Priefer will be filling an unusual role in Cleveland’s wildcard matchup against the Steelers this weekend, serving as acting head coach with Kevin Stefanski out due to the COVID-19. Priefer’s not Stefanski but he’s going to try his hardest to be. 

“Everybody’s different, but I’m going to try to be an extension of Kevin,” Priefer said via Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. “He’s done a great job with the situational football. We’ve learned a lot of football over the years together, talked situational football throughout the year, talked about it during the week and even on game day.”

Ravens

  • Matt Zenitz of AL.com reports Ravens’ LBs coach Mike Macdonald is being targeted by the University of Michigan for its defensive coordinator opening.
  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh declined to comment on Macdonald reportedly planning to accept Michigan’s offer and mentions that all of his coaches are “locked-in” for their Wildcard game. (Jamison Hensley)
  • Harbaugh was unclear when asked about Ravens CB Jimmy Smith‘s availability for Sunday’s game after missing the last three games due to ribs and shoulder injuries. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Harbaugh indicated that Ravens P Sam Koch is still on track to start Sunday’s Wildcard game despite being on the COVID-19 list: “That’ll be the plan unless something crops up.” (Hensley)
  • Harbaugh said he is proud of Ravens’ veteran LS Morgan Cox becoming the first player at his position to earn an All-Pro selection: “Morgan has been great at it for a long time. It’s nice to see it recognized out there. He’s well-deserving of it. It makes us all very proud.” (Hensley)
  • According to Aaron Wilson, the Ravens are expected to sign G Jon Halapio and OT Jordan Mills to their practice squad at some point next week after beginning their COVID-19 protocols on Friday. 
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