AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • Per ESPN’s Ben Baby, Bengals DC Lou Anarumo said they’re worried about having enough depth to keep veteran DT Geno Atkins and DE Carlos Dunlap in a rotation and not give them too many snaps. 
  • Anarumo noted the team would have some “creative packages” for S Shawn Williams who can also play dime linebacker. (Baby)
  • Anarumo has high expectations for veteran LB Josh Bynes who signed with the team in free agency this offseason: “He’s a guy that’s done it and he’s a high-character guy … He’s a huge asset, both on and off the field. He’s going to play a pivotal role.” (Tyler Dragon)

Browns

  • Scott Petrak of BrownsZone.com lists linebackers Alec Ogletree, Darron Lee, Jake Ryan, and Clay Matthews as the best free-agent options available for the Browns, but notes that each has issues.
  • Petrak mentions that Ogletree was lackluster with the Giants after signing a big deal, Lee never lived up to his first-round draft status, Ryan has had numerous injuries, and Matthews is 34 years old and could be limited to a pass-rushing role.

Ravens

  • Per the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens WR Willie Snead said he could tell WR Marquise Brown had bulked up when he saw him enter the team facility, adding the second-year player is talking about being able to block people this year: “He looks like a totally different kid.”
  • After playing at under 160 pounds last year, Brown says he’s put on 20 pounds of muscle and now weighs 180 pounds. (Zrebiec)
  • Brown had the team send him a GPS tracker to make sure he wasn’t losing any speed while he was training this offseason and recovering from a rookie year foot injury: “I took the time out to address every part of my body to make sure I was going in the year right.” (Zrebiec)
  • Brown believes his cousin, free-agent WR Antonio Brown, would be a strong fit in the Ravens locker room. (Jamison Hensley)

Steelers

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball at Heinz Field for the first time in nearly a year, and OC Randy Fichtner is hoping he can play catch-up with no preseason games scheduled this year.

“We’ll have to take advantage of those game situations that we can present for him out against our defense,” Fichtner said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.“Naturally, the first thing is we’ve got to get a feel for where he’s at, with his body. His arm will tell us. It’s not unusual for us to work a day, maybe work half a day and get a day’s rest. He knows that routine. It’s a little different kind of routine, it’s going to be a little different type kind of camp. I think we’ll have to play that by ear, eventually how he feels and how much he wants. There are times where he wants it all and we’ll have to back him off. That’s a good thing.”

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said that the team has taken the time to evaluate quarterbacks Devlin Hodges and J.T. Barrett, who was released by the team on Sunday, but he is relieved to see Roethlisberger return to throwing.

“We’ve really been focusing on getting to know these young guys, but obviously he has been throwing,” Tomlin said of Roethlisberger. “That throwing has been going well. We like where he is. We don’t have any reservations about him being a fluid participant in this training camp process.”

  • Steelers WR Diontae Johnson says he’s noticed a difference in Roethlisberger this year, as he’s more excited and Roethlisberger has interacted with him more than when he was a rookie last year. (Pryor)
  • Johnson added he’s 100 percent healthy after undergoing sports hernia surgery this offseason. (Pryor)
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