AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, Minkah Fitzpatrick


Entering his fourth season as the offensive coordinator for the Bengals, Brian Callahan is excited about how the offensive line is coming together after making some big signings this offseason, including projected starting C Ted Karras and RT La’el Collins.

“The additions up front have been really impressive,” Callahan said, via Geoff Hobson of “A guy like LC looks like he’s supposed to look. They practice like they’re supposed to practice. Ted Karras has been really fun to be around. He’s dialed in. Seeing those guys feels different. It all works together.


Ravens WR James Proche said that the skepticism about their receiving core has given him a chip on his shoulder going into the offseason program. 

“Obviously, there is a lot of noise – a lot bad, some good – around our receiver room. We just want to quiet the noise with our play, with how we carry ourselves every day,” Proche said, via Ryan Mink of the team’s official site. “You most definitely pay attention to it whether you want to or not. As a competitor, it does put a chip on your shoulder because you want to prove those doubters wrong.”

Proche feels he has a “blank slate” going into next season and is determined to earn respect in the NFL. 

“A lot of opportunity. Blank slate,” Proche said. “I paint the picture whatever way I want it, whatever way we want it as a team. … Earn your respect every day. Work at it, be consistent. Nobody is going to give you anything.”


Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth knows where he wants to improve going into his second professional season.

“My yards per catch was atrocious,” Freiermuth said, via Ray Fittipaldo of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s bad on my end. If I have 60 catches I should be up in the range of 800 or 900 yards. I definitely need to get that higher and push the ball down the field.”

“I just want to be there for the quarterbacks,” Freiermuth added. “If that means being a security blanket for them or pushing the ball down the field. I just want to be an all-around better tight end. I showed some good things last year, but it’s about taking my game to the next level.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer thinks the Steelers will prioritize an extension for S Minkah Fitzpatrick over WR Diontae Johnson this summer. Both are entering the final year of their deals. 
  • Breer adds it wouldn’t be surprising to see Johnson bet on himself and play out his deal in an effort to reach free agency given how the receiver market has exploded. 

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