AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger


Browns WR Amari Cooper isn’t technically the oldest receiver on the team at 28. He is the most experienced, however, as he heads into his eighth season, and that has him in a clear leadership role on offense. 

“It’s so easy to lead once you have that experience,” Cooper said via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, “because everything that these young guys are going through, you either went through it, or you saw somebody else who you were on the team with previously go through it, and you saw how the outcome was. So you can just [say], ‘Hey, this is how this is going to happen.’


Ravens WR Rashod Bateman told reporters that he is ready to be the No. 1 receiver in Baltimore this year.

“That’s the role that I’ve always wanted to be in,” Bateman said, via Matt Cohen of the Baltimore Sun. “I’m excited to take that role. Hopefully, I can show that by the way I work, by being the first one here every day.”


Steelers HC Mike Tomlin spoke about the process of coaching without QB Ben Roethlisberger for the first time since being hired as head coach in 2007. 

“First of all, the dude’s [Roethlisberger] talent. When you watch someone do something at a certain level for so long, it messes up your perception of what’s regular and what’s not,” Tomlin said on The Pivot podcast. “The dude’s arm talent was so special for so long. When you see special stuff every day, you get used to it. I’ve enjoyed that comfort, we’ve all enjoyed that comfort, I’m excited about being uncomfortable.”

Tomlin believes that they have capable options at quarterback with Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and first-round rookie Kenny Pickett

“Yeah, we might not have the type of quarterback play that we’ve had, we might not have the special talent that we’ve had, but we got capable dudes. And we’ve got a team.” Tomlin added. “There’s going to be some new leadership here. Some of them you can anticipate, like [Najee Harris]. But make no mistake, we are not sitting around hoping any of it happens. We’re thoughtfully constructing it.”

Tomlin points out the bright side of not having Roethlisberger is they are able to reallocate cap space to other positions without the financial obligations of a high-priced quarterback. 

“We’re also not allocating the damn money that we’ve allocated at the position in the past,” Tomlin said. “So there’s a redistribution of the money, so there better be a redistribution of the playmaking.”

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