AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions the Browns as a potential landing spot for DE Everson Griffen.
  • Browns OC Alex Van Pelt said he has an idea of what RB Kareem Hunt‘s role will be but wants to see him on the field first: “We have to find way to put best players on field. Have to find ways to get him the ball.” (Scott Petrak)
  • Despite facing a position change moving from right to left tackle as a rookie, Van Pelt believes the “sky is the limit” for first-round OT Jedrick Wills. (Mary Kay Cabot)
  • Van Pelt thinks Browns TE David Njoku has been doing well and is on his way to a bounceback year. (Petrak)
  • Van Pelt told reporters Browns WR Odell Beckham has been “all-in” during virtual OTAs. (Nate Ulrich)

Ravens

Arguably the biggest loss for the Ravens this offseason came when G Marshal Yanda, arguably a future Hall of Fame player, decided to retire after 13 seasons. Yanda was a key part of Baltimore’s historically potent rushing attack in 2019 and replacing him will be crucial to maintaining that in 2020. One of the top options to do so is G D.J. Fluker, a late free-agent pick-up who was released by the Seahawks. 

“I watched Yanda for a long time. He’s a great guard,” Fluker said on the Ravens’ “The Lounge” podcast. “Those are big shoes to fill. Yanda did his thing. That’s what he was known for, being physical and tough. But what I can do is be myself, be who I am. Be the person that comes out every single day, works hard, be physical and impose my will on people. That’s me. That’s D.J. — always passionate about football. That’s what I can give you.”

Steelers

Steelers RB James Conner posted a stunning photo recently following a workout where the fourth-year vet looked more like the Incredible Hulk than a human being. Conner hasn’t been able to stay healthy in his NFL career so far, and some commenters on the photo said it was because he was too muscled up. Conner said those concerns from the photo are overblown. 

“It’s just the angle,” Conner said via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Chris Adamski. “Nah, honestly, people comment on it, saying I’m going to be stiff and all this. I’m a professional. I know how to work out. It starts with genetics, but I’ve also been putting a lot of work in the weight room. It was the way I flexed it. A lot of people look like that.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that it would make sense for the Steelers to push to sign QB Cam Newton to have a quality backup behind QB Ben Roethlisberger, as that’s the biggest weakness on a potential Super Bowl-contending team. 
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