AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers


Browns DE Jadeveon Clowney feels he’s never played alongside another defensive end who’s athletic as Myles Garrett

“It’s funny,” Clowney said, via Tom Withers of the Associated Press. “I haven’t run into many guys like that in the National Football League yet. It took me eight years to get here to find another one like that, on defense, anyways.”

Clowney said he’s comfortable with his recovery from last year’s knee injury and wouldn’t have signed with the Browns if he didn’t feel capable of contributing. 

“I proved to myself I’m feeling good coming off the knee injury,” Clowney said. “I’ve been training extremely hard this offseason, so I already kind of had a feel of where I was coming here. I wouldn’t have come if I wasn’t healthy.”

Clowney reiterated that he is feeling “great” and is looking forward to the next phase of his development. 

“I felt great coming in. I feel great now. Hopefully, I can continue it into this next phase and keeping being strong and faster and get ready for training camp.”


Ravens QB Lamar Jackson believes the addition of veteran WR Sammy Watkins will make his job “a lot easier” given his ability to open up the field. 

“A big receiver, a nice target, fast guy,” Jackson said, via Clifton Brown of the team’s official site. “Sammy’s going to make our job a lot easier, open up one side of the field more, his deep ball ability, shiftiness, and route running. He’s a great receiver. I just can’t wait until we start going for real.”

Watkins pointed out that he has experience playing in “numerous offenses” throughout his career and mentioned that Ravens OC Greg Roman likes to move receivers around. 

“Honestly, I’ve played in numerous offenses, but this one is very complex,” Watkins said. “It’s a lot of motion, a lot of moving around. Greg can put you in a lot of different places, and honestly, I’m learning from the young guys right now. They’re kind of helping me, putting me in certain spots, and I’m learning certain routes from them, so hats off to those guys. I think that’s the most critical thing – to learn the offense to where I can play fast, block and do all the things I can do on the field.”

Harbaugh believes Watkins is “right on schedule” with his development into the Ravens’ offensive system. 

“He’s a veteran player so he knows how to pace himself up to the season,” Harbaugh said. “You can see him doing that. That’s what you look for. He’s right on schedule. He and Lamar are getting the groove a little bit, too. Very happy with Sammy, very excited about him.”


Steelers WR Diontae Johnson mentioned that in order to fix his drops issue, he has started training with tennis balls.

“It’s a smaller target, so you have to really focus on the ball and the object coming at you,” Johnson said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s what I’ve been honing on to. Now, when I catch the football it’s easy. It’s always been easy to me, but it’s keeping that focus and that confidence.”

“It was just focus,” said Johnson, who also had a team-high six drops in 2019 as a rookie. “Just taking my eye off the ball that one split second. Drop the ball right there, and it goes in the back of your mind and you constantly think about stuff like that. That’s the main thing — focus and making sure you look at the ball all the way in before you run. Focus on the catch first, run second.”

Steelers WR coach Ike Hilliard maintains that the team is working to fix its drops issue.

“Drops are part of the game, but obviously we had too many balls on the ground,” Hilliard said. “It’s been discussed, and our group understands and knows we have to do a better job of not putting the ball on the ground. Work at it every day and be cognizant of limiting drops as we go forward into the season.”

  • Steelers OC Matt Canada made it clear that QB Ben Roethlisberger will have a say in what the offense will look like: “His voice, his vision, what he sees is what we do.” (Steelers Wire)

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