AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • Per ESPN’s Ben Baby, Bengals WR A.J. Green says his hamstring is back to full health: “I feel good. I took the proper rest that I needed to get this thing (hamstring) back to 100 percent.”
  • Green said the biggest question is going to be his conditioning and how many breathers he needs: “My body feels great. My legs are very fresh.” (Baby)
  • Bengals RT Bobby Hart said he focused more on improving than the competition for the starting job this offseason: “I had that mentality in my head and I understand that part of the game.” (Baby)

Browns

Browns DE Myles Garrett said he contemplated retiring from the NFL after being suspended for his fight with Steelers QB Mason Rudolph last season. 

“I did,” said Garrett, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Whether it was because of their decision or my decision, it was whether this was going to continue.”

Garrett said his suspension forced himself to reconsider his career and life around football. 

“What was I going to do [without football]?’‘ said Garrett. “What was I going to be? Who am I at the end of the day? Was I still going to be giving without football without that kind of income coming in? Was I still going to take those trips to see people, was I still going to give back to charities, was I still going to give clothing and shoes to schools around me, to coaches that have impacted me? All of these things were on my mind.”

Garrett believes he would’ve been “OK” if he walked away from the NFL and said he may have considered playing basketball. 

“I would’ve been OK,” Garrett said. “I love football. I love competing, I love my teammates, and I definitely want to win, but at the end of the day, I’m still a guy. I’m still a young man who has a lot of life to live and my life is much more than football. I just would’ve moved onto something else I enjoy and found another way to save my competitive nature, whether it would’ve been trying out for a basketball team or going to play baseball like [Michael] Jordan.”

Ravens

  • Per the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens OC Greg Roman said the team will definitely use three running backs each week and could use four when RB Justice Hill is healthy, which won’t be this week. 
  • Baltimore doesn’t currently have a third tight end on the roster but they do have FB/DT Patrick Ricard who Roman says will now add tight end to his role: “He has practiced a lot more in the TE role. I think we’ll be a multi-personnel outfit and Pat will be a big part of it.” (Zrebiec)
  • Ravens third-round OL Tyre Phillips, who’s a strong candidate to start at right guard, missed practice Thursday. (Zrebiec)
  • It’s an ankle injury for Phillips. (Zrebiec)

Steelers

  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly expects the Steelers’ last two third-round picks, CB Justin Layne and OLB Alex Highsmith, to play backup roles in 2020. Kaboly says Highsmith will have a bigger role as a rotational edge rusher, while Layne will be primarily on special teams and is behind CB Cam Sutton for a backup job in the secondary. 
  • Kaboly is high on Steelers WR Diontae Johnson‘s ability to be a threat and take away attention from WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. He also thinks RB Benny Snell is a potential successor to RB James Conner in 2021. 
  • Steelers OC Randy Fichtner says second-round WR Chase Claypool has earned a larger-than-expected role because he’s held up mentally and physically so far. (Brooke Pryor)
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