AFC Notes: Browns, Patriots, Steelers


Browns DE Chase Winovich is optimistic about his opportunity to be a rotational pass-rusher in Cleveland this season and has added 15 pounds in order to transition to their defensive scheme.

“In life, we’re very quick to assign things as good or bad, success or failure, this or that,” Winovich said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “But I think ultimately that removes any possibility, and the possibility is that it could be the best thing to ever happen to me.”

“It’s the heaviest I’ve weighed in probably three years, the strongest I’ve probably ever been,” Winovich said, “So I have a lot to be optimistic about, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m just very thankful that the Cleveland Browns believe in me, and I certainly have been putting in the work and effort to make sure that I’m prepared come season. I’m just really fired up to be here.”

As the team recently re-signed DE Jadeveon Clowney, Winovich will now have another weapon to line up with on defense when his number is called.

“Yeah, I’ve definitely thought a lot about it,” Winovich said. “These are things that I’m kind of trained as a Patriot to not speak about but, yeah, I’ve thought a lot about what we could do together on the football field.”

  • Neil Stratton reports that the Browns are hiring former Eagles’ area scout Shawn Heinlen for a similar role. 


Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne appears to be taking rookie WR Tyquan Thornton under his wing.

“Tyquan’s dope,” Bourne said, via Dakota Randall of “We gonna get some weight on my guy. But (Thornton) is blazing, though. Good attitude, also. He’s bought in. You could tell he cares. And I think it was a dope pick, man. We need speed and we need to add that downfield threat, man. So, I think he gives us that part of the field. That’s another thing. You know, learning from him too — I can learn from him; he can learn from us. He’s in the right place. If he has the right attitude and applies himself, this type of place will take you to another level.”


Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky said that he feels “very comfortable” in the team’s system and is “picking things up really quickly.”

“I feel very comfortable,” said Trubisky, via the team’s official site. “I think the staff and the guys around me have just done a great job. Being in the books, studying and picking things up really quickly. I feel very comfortable with it.”

Trubisky added that they are going through the offense to determine what is the best fit for their system. 

“We’ve kind of installed everything and then we’re going to go through and find out what fits us and the offense, me specifically, and then the rest of the quarterback room so we’re just having those conversations. But it’s been a good installation period and I’m really enjoying the offense so far.”

As for the quarterbacks’ group, Trubisky said there are “ongoing conversations” between himself, Mason Rudolph, Chris Oladokun, and Kenny Pickett.

We got two young guys and two vets,” said Trubisky. “There’s a lot of ongoing conversations. We’re all learning the offense kind of for the first time together. We’re just pushing each other, competing and it’s been a good quarterback room so far. I’m really enjoying it.”

As for replacing Ben Roethlisberger, Trubisky said that they must be themselves and take a progressive approach to improve. 

“You’re not going to replace a Hall of Famer. You got to come in and be yourself and take it one day at a time. I’m just trying to be me. But you also have that huge respect for the people that came before you. And I have the ultimate respect for Ben and what he’s done here. Obviously, Hall of Famer, two Super Bowls, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to continue his legacy. Win another Super Bowl. And just keep wanting to get better and build every day.”

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