AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Bengals LT Jonah Williams was drafted eleventh overall by the team and was the first of several players to go down with an injury in 2019. Now, he returns healthy and is ready to put some of the questions about the offensive line to rest.

“I think we have a chip on our shoulder,” Williams said, via Jay Morrison of The Athletic. “But I don’t think it’s so much from external pressure. I think it’s more from the fact we were 2-14 last year. As a team, we weren’t good enough. As an O-line, we certainly weren’t good enough. I think that’s where the chip comes from, is we don’t want to feel what it feels like to be not good. Just internally, that’s what we work so hard for and that’s not the mindset that a lot of our guys have. That’s definitely what we’re aiming for, what the source of that motivation is.”

Williams also mentioned that he wants to prove to the organization that he can be a franchise left tackle and a cornerstone for the Bengals’ offense.

“I want to prove them right — the Bengals, the team, the family — and be the left tackle for years to come,” Williams added. “That’s obviously been my goal since the day I came here. It kind of got sidelined a bit last year, but it’s still my goal now and I think I’m better prepared than ever to do it. So I wouldn’t say there’s a ton of pressure, but I feel like I’m eager, I’m excited to do that.”

  • NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero brings up that the Bengals waited to conduct a physical with CB Trae Waynes until they could have their own doctors look at him, which meant the veteran wasn’t able to work out in the same way for fear of injury and losing his signing bonus. 
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor said it’s too early to know how long Waynes will be out, though some reports indicate two months: “Just happened this week. It’s unfortunate.” (Paul Dehner Jr.)
  • Taylor expects veteran DT Mike Daniels to finalize his deal with the Bengals soon. (Ben Baby)

Ravens

  • On Monday, Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley told the Baltimore media that his contract situation is “not really in the forefront of my mind.”
  • Albert Breer of SI mentions that Stanley is a top-five player at his position and an essential piece of QB Lamar Jackson’s supporting cast.
  • Drafted in the same years as Stanley, Breer notes that LT Laremy Tunsil received a $22 million per year contract and that it is fair to think Stanley’s worth that much as well.

Steelers

  • Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick gave some insight to Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne on why he requested a trade from the Dolphins last season. While he was excited to play for HC Brian Flores and move around the field, Flores wanted to play him as a strong safety/dime linebacker which Fitzpatrick didn’t think played to his skills: “It was messing up my skill set. I was working the hand-fighting drills against the tight ends and working on hitting the bags and stuff like that. That’s fine and dandy, but that wasn’t my skill set.”
  • Per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, Steelers secondary coach Teryl Austin says Pittsburgh plans to move Fitzpatrick around more and having a full offseason has been good fir Fitzpatrick.
  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly thinks there’s a good chance the Steelers go with a safety next to LB Devin Bush in a sub-package for a big chunk of snaps to minimize what LB Vince Williams has to do in coverage. 
  • Kaboly thinks the only Steeler with a chance of signing an extension before this season is DL Cameron Heyward, but he wouldn’t describe it as likely. 
  • Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice outlines some trades he thinks makes sense for the Eagles, including swapping EDGE Genard Avery with the Steelers for RB Jaylen Samuels
  • Avery is light to be anything but a situational pass rusher as a 4-3 defensive end in Philadelphia and could have more use for Pittsburgh, while Samuels is reportedly on the bubble in Pittsburgh and could be a versatile piece for the Eagles as a backup running back and tight end.
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