AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


Bengals defensive assistant Jordan Kovacs worked with rookie RB Chris Evans at Michigan and believes he has the ability to succeed in the NFL. 

“He’s got a special skill set,” Kovacs said, via “He’s got a great frame, he’s very athletic and he can catch the ball and that’s a premium in this league. The coaches, we loved him. He’s not a self-promoter, which I like, and the more you learn about him off the field, it tells you he’s not only a cool person, but he loves the game of football.”

Evans said that adversity is where you separate yourself and he’s thrived in it. He’s already used the lessons he learned from missing the 2019 college football season due to academic issues and applied them to the youth flag football league he runs. He’ll apply those to the NFL, too. 

“When you have adversity, you get introduced to yourself,” Evans said. “The main goal is to make kids know and understand when you hit adversity, it’s how you respond. A lot of people can’t respond or get back up, so you have to be a difference-maker. 

“You can’t go hide or run away or go under your chair. You have to continue to be yourself. I just had to keep myself busy.”

  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor isn’t worried about getting all of the wide receivers involved in the offense: “The ball is going to find the open guy or the guy with the best matchup.” (Ben Baby)
  • Taylor also said QB Joe Burrow‘s deep ball looks good so far: “It’s exciting. He looks really good…He’s throwing the ball on time and where it needs to go and that’s what I’m pleased about.” (Baby)


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec points out the Ravens have both RBs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards under contract through 2023 following the latter’s extension on Monday. 
  • In addition to the contract details reported yesterday, Zrebiec adds new Ravens OT Ja’Wuan James‘ deal includes a $500,000 roster bonus if he’s on the roster the fifth day of the 2022 league year. 
  • Zrebiec says James could be a value if he’s healthy next year, as he’ll count just $3.5 million on the cap. He could be either the starting right tackle or the backup swing tackle. 
  • ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reports Ravens DT Broderick Washington pleaded no contest to misdemeanor destruction of property with a value of less than $1,000, and six charges were dropped.
  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh mentioned James could potentially return later in the year from his torn Achilles. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Edwards is thrilled to have re-signed with the team: “I knew from the get that I wanted to be in Baltimore. I have unfinished business here.” (Zrebiec)
  • Ravens LB Patrick Queen admitted last year he wasn’t physically ready coming into the season: “Last year, I didn’t come in shape at all.” (Zrebiec)
  • Ravens TE Mark Andrews hopes to sign with the Ravens long-term as he enters the final year of his deal: “Obviously, I love Baltimore. I’d love to be here my whole life.” (Zrebiec)


  • Steelers QB Mason Rudolph said he is happy to have signed a contract extension with the team: “It’s always good to get a vote of confidence from your team. My outlook, my approach is prove myself every single day. … It hasn’t changed my mindset. Pittsburgh is a place I want to be for a long time. It’s home.” (Brooke Pryor)
  • Rudolph mentioned he is happy to have QBs Dwayne Haskins and Josh Dobbs competing with him: “I think you’re always excited and looking forward to competition. Couple good players and good guys. It’s competition, it makes everybody better.” (Pryor)
  • Rudolph added he wants to be in Pittsburgh for a long time: “I want to be in Pittsburgh. This is where I was drafted. This is home. This is where I wanted to continue to play.” (Pryor)
  • On OC Matt Canada, Rudolph said he was a big asset for him last year: “Having Matt Canada, having a quarterbacks coach helped me take some steps forward.” (Pryor
  • Rudolph said he is aiming to be the Steelers starting quarterback in 2022: “That’s my goal, to be a starting quarterback in this league, and for my team.” (Pryor)
  • Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick said he expects to play the same role in the defense this year: “I don’t think too much is going to change. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (Pryor)
  • Fitzpatrick also praised S Terrell Edmunds, whose fifth-year option the Steelers did not pick up: “He’s a great player. I love playing with him.” (Pryor)
  • Fitzpatrick said he stands behind QB Ben Roethlisberger: “Ben has been doing this for a while, he doesn’t have to be out here competing against us. He chooses to come and compete. When he is out there, everybody gets better.” (Mark Kaboly)

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