AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


Bengals DC Lou Anarumo has gotten looks as a potential head coach elsewhere, yet remains focused on conquering the Chiefs in the AFC championship game.

“You get a chance to have a feel for, ‘Hey, this is what these guys are really all about,’ as opposed to a team you don’t play once every four years or so,” Anarumo said, via Jake Rice of “So we have that going. I think that’s the biggest thing. They know us, we know them, and then see what worked, what didn’t work in the first game and kind of, have some change up as we go into it. We cannot allow touchdowns. We’ve got to make them kick field goals. You want to do a great job in limiting yards, but at the end of the day, limit the points, win the game. How do you do that? You do that by playing great red-zone defense, taking possessions away from them on takeaways. We have to do that this weekend to give us a chance to be successful.”

  • ESPN’s Ben Baby thinks it’s more likely Bengals S Jessie Bates plays out the 2022 season on the franchise tag and the two sides buckle down harder on negotiations in 2023. 
  • Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase says that former LSU HC Les Miles attempted to get him to switch to cornerback: “(Ex-LSU head coach) Les Miles told me I couldn’t play receiver when I was coming out of high school. … Les Miles told me he thought I could play cornerback.” (Doug Kyed)


Browns QB Baker Mayfield posted on his Instagram to let fans know he will be taking a break from social media after reported death threats to himself and his wife during the season. He had recently called out the NFL on social media for their COVID-19 testing policy, along with scrutinizing the media and the fans who had threatened him.

“Congrats to all teams moving on…some extremely competitive football was played this weekend,” Mayfield said. “Was entertaining to watch. Would absolutely much rather be playing, but was fun to watch. Nevertheless…social media is toxic. Always kept my circle tight. Time to get back to that. Family and loved ones only.”


The Steelers seem cursed inside linebacker recently. They moved up in the draft to select LB Devin Bush after losing LB Ryan Shazier to a career-ending injury making a tackle against the Bengals. They thought he could have a similar impact. But Bush tore his ACL last season and never really looked recovered in 2021. 

“In 2016, we felt Ryan Shazier was becoming that guy defensively,’’ said former Steelers LB Arthur Moats, via Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. “He was flying around, making plays. He made the calls. We felt he was our X-factor. Even though we might not be the best around him, we felt he could make up for some of that. He was one of the bigger reasons we could do things defensively and why we were so confident. We didn’t have a ton of Pro Bowlers (on defense), but we were opportunistic. Shay was the difference for us.”

  • Bouchette doesn’t expect the Steelers to pick up Bush’s fifth-year option and adds they’ll likely ask LB Joe Schobert to take a pay cut or be released. 

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