AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

The Browns have no shortage of options when it comes to figuring out who will start at linebacker for DC Joe Woods in his new scheme. There is, however, a shortage of experience, which puts added pressure on the six weeks or so of training camp and the preseason for Woods and the Browns to best figure out how all the pieces fit together at linebacker. 

2019 fifth-round LB Mack Wilson started 14 games as a rookie on the outside and can play in the middle. The Browns also spent a third-round pick last year on LB Sione Takitaki, though he played just 105 snaps as a rookie backup middle linebacker. Cleveland added LB B.J. Goodson this year in free agency and LB Jacob Phillips near the end of the third round, both of whom have experience playing in the middle and outside. 

“This is going to be a situation where once we get on the field and we start running our defense, it is going to be how well they fit in a specific position,” Woods said via BrownsZone.com’s Scott Petrak. “Are they capable of making plays, based on the scheme? It is going to be something we are going to have to feel out once we get back for training camp. I will tell you what, all of those guys in the meetings really have been doing a good job, so I know mentally they can handle it. It is just physically, what are they capable of doing?”

Ravens

  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe thinks the Ravens are positioned well to weather the unique challenges of the 2020 season given how much continuity they’re bringing back. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes the Ravens coaching staff returned to the team facility Monday. 
  • SI.com’s Todd Karpovich projects the Ravens will keep six receivers on the final roster, with Willie Snead and Chris Moore getting the last two spots ahead of 2018 fourth-round WR Jaleel Scott

Steelers

  • According to the Athletic’s Aaron Reiss, the Steelers would be a team to watch for Texans DE J.J. Watt if he hits free agency when his contract expires in 2022 — or sooner — because of the chance to play with his two other brothers. 
  • The Steelers signed FB Derek Watt and already employ LB T.J. Watt.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe thinks the Steelers are positioned well to weather the unique challenges of the 2020 season given how much continuity they’re bringing back. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes Steelers HC Mike Tomlin returned to the team facility last Friday. 
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