AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers


The Cleveland Browns officially announced the following additions to their front office on Friday: 

  • Scouting Assistant Anthony Fabiano
  • Football Research Analyst Udit Ranasaria
  • Football Operations Asst/Special Projects Joy Tapajcik
  • Director of Football Admin Taylor Young


New Ravens WR Sammy Watkins is on his fourth team and has been in at least that many systems. He’s also played for OC Greg Roman before back in Buffalo but he says the current system Roman runs in Baltimore is the most complex he’s ever been in. 

“I’ve played in numerous offenses, but this one is very complex. There is a lot of motion, a lot of moving around. Greg puts you in a lot of different places,” Watkins said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “Honestly, I’m learning from the young guys right now. They’re putting me in certain spots and I’m learning certain routes from them. Hats off to those guys. Really just going out there and being able to play fast and show my talent.”


The Steelers ran out of gas and crashed down the stretch last season and that included QB Ben Roethlisberger. He had elbow surgery in the offseason and acknowledged that probably played a role as much as he and the team downplayed things during the season. He obviously hopes 2021 will play out differently. 

“I had total reconstruction on my elbow so that had something to do with it,” Roethlisberger said with a little bit of a chuckle, via the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “No excuses. My arm feels great though. I’d like to wait to answer that question the more we get into the season and see how it feels. Right now it feels really good. My arm was healed, obviously, I played. It was healthy. But I think anybody that has a big surgery, it almost takes — like that first year back, you are back but are you really back and feeling great? That’s why I want to reserve to answer that question till we get into the season a little bit to let you know how my arm feels compared to last year.”

Roethlisberger added that he’s been able to take more time to rest instead of focusing on rehab this offseason. 

“I took a lot of time off throwing this offseason, and I really hope and think it pays dividends this year,” Roethlisberger said.

Regarding his contract situation, Roethlisberger said he was the one who approached the team about taking a pay cut to come back for another season in 2021. 

“It was my idea. I told them I want to help the team out however we can and so I went to them and told them that I would do whatever I could to help the team sign the guys that are going to help us win football games,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ve been extremely blessed to play this game for a long time. That was one of the reasons I wanted to come back because I knew we had a great defense and some amazing weapons on offense, so I wanted to come back to be a part of what I think is a special football team that everyone is overlooking, which I think is cool, too. To do that, to get guys here, I felt that it was necessary to do that.”

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