AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens

Bengals

  • According to the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., the Bengals had perfect attendance at OTAs on Tuesday.
  • Bengals QB Joe Burrow said he is feeling good from his torn ACL recovery: “I feel like I have a lot more velocity on the ball …. I feel 80-85 percent. We’re looking really good. It’s just about getting stronger.” (Geoff Hobson)
  • Burrow’s goal is to gain about 5-10 pounds over the rest of the offseason. (Ben Baby)
  • Burrow was happy to add first-round WR Ja’Marr Chase to the offense: “I think he’s going to bring some explosiveness to our offense.” (Ben Baby)
  • Burrow reiterated he thinks he will be a “full go” at training camp. (Ben Baby)
  • Burrow noted the addition of OL coach Frank Pollack will be a big boost to the team: I think Frank Pollack’s going to be a great voice for us.” (Baby)
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor told reporters it’s too early to tell if Burrow will play in the preseason. (Baby)
  • Taylor also said RB Joe Mixon is a full participant in OTAs. (Tyler Dragon)

Browns

Browns’ DT Andrew Billings is thankful to have opted out last season after seeing DE Myles Garrett struggle with COVID-19.

“It made me realize, ‘thank God that didn’t happen to me,’” Billings said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I played with asthma all of my life, so seeing him go through that, I could relate. Myles Garrett is an A-plus player, so if that were to happen to me, at my position and at my size [6-foot-1, 328 pounds], I don’t know if I could’ve handled that. … I know he had it kind of bad, but you never know. I could’ve had it worse, or I could’ve had it easier. I could’ve had it for a day or I could’ve had it for three months. I just wasn’t willing to take that bet. I’m glad there’s another season coming and I’m here to play.”

Billings said that even though he did not play, he still thinks he learned a lot by watching.

“You can learn from watching,” Billings said. “You see things on certain plays, certain schemes depending on who they’re playing, like if they’re trying to keep the quarterback in the pocket or just trying to really keep a balanced rush, so you can [get better].”

After missing the season, Billings is excited to get back to playing football this year with that defensive line group

“I can’t wait to get in there,’’ Billings said. “I can’t wait to get to practice, put some pads on and get back to doing what we do. It’s always nice to have some young guys around, it’s always nice to have old guys around and just build chemistry together. I don’t know any of the new guys personally yet, but I can’t wait to get to know them.’’

Ravens

Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz broke down film of the incoming draft class for local media and explained why the team was so high on former Penn State DE Odafe Oweh as a first-round pick. Oweh’s tools are incredible and the Ravens saw a lot of carryover between what he was asked to do in college and their system. 

“There’s no doubt he has speed, but his rush is really a power, bend, hand, core (rush),” Hortiz said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “He’s got the speed, but that’s what we have to develop with him, using that speed and developing it even further. That’s the way Penn State plays. They do a lot of read/run, convert to pass, which we do. That fits us. So set the edge, come off, convert to pass and get to the quarterback. He can do that. He can get around the edge with his speed, but you’ve got to be able to get through guys as well and I think he’s going to be able to do that.”

  • Hortiz isn’t worried about Oweh’s zero sacks last year, citing plays where: “If he was literally not even a fraction of a second sooner, it’s a sack/forced fumble.” (Jamison Hensley)
  • Hortiz said he thought the Packers were going to take WR Rashod Bateman with pick No. 29. He also praised Bateman’s route-running and polish. (Hensley)
  • Hortiz mentioned how he likes third-round G Ben Cleveland‘s feet and awareness and he isn’t worried about Cleveland moving from the right side to the left. (Hensley)
  • Ravens third-round DB Brandon Stephens converted from running back to cornerback when he transferred from UCLA to SMU two years ago, but Hortiz said he’s not as much of a projection as you’d think: “There’s risk/reward with every player, but he’s not like a fundamentally raw player. He just lacks the experience. The temperament and the effort with which he plays and the production that he’s put out there on film, that kind of makes it exciting. We feel there’s going to be a process of him developing into a good player.” (Zrebiec)
  • While CB Shaun Wade fell to the fifth round after a rough final season at Ohio State, Hortiz and the Ravens liked what they saw from him earlier in the season and think he’s worth the gamble: “What we’re excited about is you look at his film as a nickel, and you look at the size and the speed and the potential of the player and the ball skills, and you say, ‘Hey, this is a guy that has talent that we can work with and develop, and he has inside (and) outside flexibility.’ That’s what gets you excited. Hopefully, he comes in and just stays hungry and driven and builds off of what he’s done and continues to grow.”
  • Ravens S Ar’Darius Washington fell out of the draft due to being just 5-8, 176 pounds and not an impressive tester athletically, but Hortiz said they had a draftable grade on him: “He’s a good football player. Let’s get him in here and see what he is. Frankly, that’s how we evaluated him as a potential draft pick and he was a potential draft pick for us. We just didn’t draft him. That doesn’t mean we didn’t have draftable grades on him. Our scouts really liked him. To a man, everyone talked about how tough he was.”

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