AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, T.J. Watt


  • According to Paul Dehner Jr., the Bengals are also expected to host two more free-agent offensive linemen alongside C Austin Reiter for his tryout on Monday. 
  • The Giants and Rams also put in a waiver claim on Bengals’ recently signed C Lamont Gaillard but Cincinnati had a higher priority. (Field Yates)


Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh said that he hired former Ravens LBs coach Mike Macdonald as the University’s next defensive coordinator after the recommendation from his brother, Ravens HC John Harbaugh, who mentioned that Macdonald would likely replace DC Wink Martindale in Baltimore. 

“I hadn’t been around Mike a lot except the times I had been to Baltimore, visited there and talked some football,” Harbaugh said. “My brother John was like, ‘Yeah, this is the guy I would hire. Probably would be our next defensive coordinator here in Baltimore after Wink.’”

Jim mentioned that his brother allowed Macdonald to depart from his Ravens’ staff in order to help Michigan succeed. 

“This came from John,” Harbaugh said. “I even asked him, ‘John, it’s pretty awesome you would recommend somebody you think so highly of that’s on your staff.’ He said, ‘Well, I really love Michigan football and I really love you, so I want to see you both be successful.’”


Steelers’ LB  T.J. Watt made it clear that he loves playing in Pittsburgh, yet he remains unsure when the team will be signing him to a new deal and if it will happen before the start of the new season.

“No, I love this team,” Watt said, via Ray Fittipaldo of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I love all the coaches and the staff here and the players. I’m excited to be here and that’s what I’m here for…that’s not for me to say. That’s pretty much all I’ll say about it. I love Pittsburgh. Obviously, I would love to be here. But all of those decisions aren’t really mine to be made.”

Steelers’ HC Mike Tomlin knows that Watt is a consummate pro and wasn’t surprised that the linebacker was unwilling to go into details about a potential contract extension.

“It doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know about T.J. Watt,” Tomlin said. “What more can you say about him that hasn’t already been said? I’m sure that process will run its course and we’ll have something to report.”

  • Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger on the health of his arm heading into 2021: “My arm feels a lot fresher. This time last year I threw thousands of footballs trying to get ready. Today was the first time I threw a football since minicamp besides my son in the backyard. It feels more normal of an offseason. My arm feels really good.” (Mark Kaboly)
  • Roethlisberger is certainly the unquestioned veteran voice of the Steelers at this point in his career, as he is 10 years older than the next offensive player on the roster. (Kaboly)
  • The Steelers are beginning the season with no players on the PUP list, however, G Kevin Dotson sustained a minor injury. (Ray Fittipaldo)

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