AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers


Browns LG Joel Bitonio wonders why C JC Tretter remains unsigned by any of the league’s 32 teams, adding that it may be due to his outspoken nature of league safety as the NFLPA president.

“When you have a guy that’s top-five, top-10 at center in the league and he’s not on a roster, you know, and he’s the NFLPA president and maybe some of the owners don’t appreciate what he brings to the table on certain topics when he’s trying to protect player safety and things of that nature, it seems a little suspicious to me,” Bitonio said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “But, again, I don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. I don’t know what his conversations have been with teams and stuff, but just from an outside perspective usually players that are close to the top of their game get picked up. Teams want to win in this league. So it’s an interesting topic, for sure.”

  • Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said CB Greg Newsome II  won’t practice due to a hamstring injury, adding that it “won’t be a long time” before he returns. (Scott Petrak)
  • Stefanski said there is still no final word on whether C Nick Harris will need season-ending knee surgery. (Petrak)


Ravens RB Justice Hill feels fully recovered from his torn Achilles and is excited to be participating in training camp.

“I had a long offseason and just prepared for it,” Hill said, via Clifton Brown of the team’s official site. “I feel good. I don’t have any hiccups. Nothing. It’s feeling great, so it’s really nice and I’m excited to be back out here.”

Ravens RBs coach Craig Ver Steeg has been impressed with Hill this offseason and thinks he’s shown a strong mindset in his return. 

“You see guys come back after those long-term injuries, and you want to feel their mindset,” Ver Steeg said. “What we’re feeling out of him is, ‘Give me everything coach.’ You’ve seen us put him in on downhill runs. It’s all coming at him, and he’s ready for it all.”


All three Steelers quarterbacks played reasonably well in the preseason opener but it was first-rounder Kenny Pickett who generated the most buzz. He took over in the second half and finished the game 13-15 passing for 95 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score. 

“He moved his group. He played situational football,” Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said via NFL Media’s Bobby Kownack. “He displayed a competitive spirit. A lot of good things to build on from a first-performance standpoint.”

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