AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens

     

Bengals

Bengals DC Lou Anarumo had some challenges implementing his defensive scheme in his first year with the team last year. As he enters his second, there’s still no shortage of challenges, as Cincinnati has to integrate a number of high-profile free-agent additions intended to rebuild the defense without getting to practice on the field. That hasn’t stopped the new faces from making their presence felt, though. 

“The new guys have communicated well,” Anarumo said via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. D.J. Reader has spoke up in the d-line meetings. Josh Bynes has done a good job as a veteran communicating in the linebacker meetings. In the backend, you have a bunch of guys who like to stick their chest out, if you will, in Vonn Bell and Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. All those guys have done well.”

  • The Athletic’s Jay Morrison says there’s some interest from the Bengals in former Saints G Larry Warford, but Cincinnati won’t get in a bidding war and the Bengals likely aren’t Warford’s first choice. 

Browns

Browns DE Myles Garrett finished 2019 with 10 sacks in just 10 games as he continued to establish himself as one of the NFL’s best young pass rushers. His six-game suspension to end the season for swinging his helmet at Steelers QB Mason Rudolph ended his pursuit of being the defensive player of the year, but it remains on of Garrett’s goals going forward, as well as stepping up to be more of a team leader.  

“I think Myles has the right mindset in terms of wanting to be MVP and all of that, but we just need him to be the best player for us that he can be, and whatever happens, happens,” Browns DC Joe Woods said via NFL Media’s Grant Gordon. “Right now, I think he is in a good place.”

Woods says Garrett has been a model citizen since his suspension and is moving in the right direction. They haven’t talked specifically about the incident but Woods says Garrett is ready to put it behind him. 

“I think as a young player in this league, you go through a lot of different things so I definitely think he is going to learn and grow from the situation that happened last year,” Woods said. “We really have not talked about it after he got back and after he was reinstated. He is focused on getting better. He is focused on being a good teammate. He has been in the meetings. He is trying to step up and take more of a leadership role. I definitely think he is moving in the right direction and has the right mindset.”

Ravens

The Ravens as a franchise have had stability at inside linebacker for most of their history between the great Ray Lewis and former LB C.J. Mosley, but that wasn’t the case in 2019. As a result, Baltimore went out and took LBs Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison in the first and third-rounds respectively with the expectation that they can lock down the position for a long time. 

“Those two guys will kind of be roaming in there at those two linebacker spots, both base and sub, and we’ll just see how much playing time they earn,” Harbaugh said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “We expect them to play a lot of football this year. We’re really fired up about those two guys.”

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