AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens


Bengals OC Joe Callahan said Joe Burrow has shown “improvement across the board” this offseason and keyed on the quarterback’s throwing power, mentality, and physical development. 

“Nothing that Joe does at this point surprises me,” Callahan said, via the team’s official Youtube. “I’ve noticed quite a bit of improvement across the board, not just velocity. He spent a lot of time looking at the things he wanted to get better at from the season, both mentally and physically. And I think he’s done that over the course of the offseason program. He’s had a goal in mind of how he wanted to change his throwing motion and his mechanics—I shouldn’t say motion. But some of his footwork and stance and how he was going to some more velocity on the ball and all those things. And I think he’s done that. I have noticed it. He’s throwing the ball with a little more velocity. It’s allowing him to maybe hang onto the ball an extra split second and be able to fit into a window a little bit later than he did a year ago. I think all those things are a positive. Obviously, it’s easy to do in 7-on-7 with no rush and all that, but all the things that he’s worked on has been really positive. I’m excited about where he’s headed and now we’ll get to put it all together here when we come back in about a month.”

Burrow mentioned that he’s on track to be fully recovered from last year’s knee injury in time for training camp and wants to increase his weight to 220 pounds. 

“I’ll continue the program we were on and get back to 100 percent before camp,” Burrow said, via the Bengal’s Youtube. “Get better and better. Add some more weight [to get to 220 pounds]. Continue to do what I was doing before OTAs started.”


Browns DC Joe Woods said he is pleased with their defense’s progression last year but added that they must continue producing in 2021 in order to stay off the coaching hot seat. 

“This is the NFL. I’ve been on the hot seat for 30 years ’cause every year you get contracts, but you keep your job based on how your position or your unit performs,” Woods said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I was very excited with what we were able to accomplish [last season]. It hasn’t been done around here for a long time. But this is a show-me game. That’s the NFL. I have to produce. I’m in charge of the defense, and I’m excited about it — the players we acquired. So I’m excited to get going and really hope to play better defense than we did last year.”

Woods mentioned that it’s his job to get all of the Browns’ eight defensive additions accustomed to their system, including S John Johnson, DE Jadeveon Clowney, LB Anthony Walker, CB Troy Hill, DT Malik Jackson, DE Takk McKinley, first-round CB Greg Newsome and second-round LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

“It’s our job as coaches to teach these guys the scheme, the techniques that we’re using and to rep it. That’s what the offseason is for. That’s what training camp is for,” Woods said. “You’re going to have things that you run across — adversity throughout the season — but I feel as long as we can establish our defensive scheme and guys can execute, I feel like it won’t be as much of a problem as people may think.”

Woods has come away impressed by Browns S Ronnie Harrison‘s development this offseason and pointed out that he has natural movement on the field.

“With Ronnie, I was watching film yesterday,” Woods said. “I said, ‘Who’s that guy in the post?’ [My assistant coaches] were like, ‘That’s Ronnie.’ But just in terms of what he has done so far working on his movement skills, bending more in his backpedal, he looks like a different guy and he has a natural feel when he is in the box. I think he’s set up to have a really good year for us.”

As for Browns S Grant Delpit (Achilles) and CB Greedy Williams (shoulder) returning from season-ending injuries, Woods said the medical staff is taking a cautious approach with both players but expects them to be at full speed in training camp. 

“When you look at those guys, you have size, length, speed,” Woods said. “Grant is versatile. But to have those guys out there, we just want to be careful. You get them back out there and you’re excited, [but] you don’t want to put too much on them. Training staff had a great plan for those guys, and we have brought them along slowly. But they were out there. You get excited because you see what you’re capable of doing, the packages you can create, so I look forward to getting them back in training camp, when I think they’ll be full speed.”


Ravens second-year RB J.K. Dobbins is looking to build upon his rookie season, and help his team get to the Super Bowl.

Yes, the main goal is to do better than what I did last year. This year, I want to come in, help my team in all ways possible on that field to get to the Super Bowl. It could be receiving, it could be running, it could be, shoot, if we have another ‘cramp-up game,’ [I’d] get out there, throw the ball – things like that – just to help my team win a game. Dobbins said, via RavensWire. That’s what I’m working towards right now. It’s going pretty great.”

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