AFC Notes: Joe Burrow, Patrick Queen, Bengals, Browns, Ravens


Bengals OC Brian Callahan said the team has a plan in place to make sure QB Joe Burrow is available for week 1.

I think he’s in a good place and we got a good plan in place for him to get ready for Week 1,” Callahan said, via Ben Baby of ESPN.

Callahan explained that Burrow’s mental makeup as well as his knowledge within the system won’t take him long to get back up to speed.

It’s part of what makes him special to begin with,” Callahan said. “And so those are his strengths that he’s playing into.

Bengals HC Zac Taylor said there wasn’t everything specific that they needed to see out of Burrow before clearing him and are taking things a day at a time.

I don’t think there’s a defined checklist we need to see,” Taylor said. “It was just good to get him out with the team and calling plays in the huddle and all that good stuff at practice. I think that was encouraging for everybody.


The Browns were happy to sign undrafted free agents LB Mohamoud Diabate and S Ronnie Hickman and both were fortunate to receive a call from GM Andrew Berry that they made the 53-man roster.

“He told me he was proud of me,” Diabate said, via Scott Petrak of “Initial reaction was just happiness. Just really excited to get to work. It’s not really too big of a celebration, in my opinion. It’s just, yes, now I have the opportunity to keep going, keep working, keep improving, and keep doing what I plan on doing in this league. So as long as I keep my mindset on improving every day and becoming a better football player, a better teammate, being better at every aspect of the game, everything will be all right.”

“I love everything about being a Cleveland Brown,” Diabate added. “So I was really happy to know that that was going to continue. Very happy to have the opportunity to keep showing what I’m about. I definitely appreciate all the Cleveland fans having my back and wanting me to represent this team. That means a lot. So love and respect to all of them, all the Cleveland Browns fans around the nation.”

“I want to say around like 10:30 in the morning,” Hickman said of when he got the call he made the team. “I was lying in bed. I knew the call was coming at some point. It kind of felt like draft day all over again, I was joking with my family.”

Hickman knows he isn’t a starter but plans to wait in the wings until he finally gets the chance to prove himself in the regular season.

“This game is about opportunity,” Hickman said. “You never know when your number’s called, but when your number’s called, you got to make the play, and not only for yourself but for your teammates. Whenever you’re on the field, you want to make a play and allow the coaches to trust you and the players to trust you. So whenever you get a chance, you got to make the most of it.”


Ravens LB Patrick Queen had a tumultuous offseason with Baltimore, even going as far as to remove the team from all of his social media accounts after he did not receive a new contract.

“There were talks and then some stuff fell through,” Queen said, via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. “Obviously, you get upset. I’m probably going to be gone. That’s, at least, what I was thinking in my head. I’m thinking that I’m gone. Everybody reacts out of emotion to certain things. I’m just comfortable. I’m taking it day by day, just enjoying life. It’s a blessing to be here. It’s a blessing to be able to play this game. I’m going out there with the guys every day and just getting better and trying to be great. I’m trying to be someone who they can lean on. I’m just trying to be the best person I can be, honestly. You want to make every play. You want to make everybody proud and just be the guy. But I had to learn you just can’t make every play. Sometimes, you have to just do your job and plays are going to come. Sometimes, by doing your job, it helps other people make plays.

“I think the difference in bringing Roquan in was instead of having one backer who can really fly, you have two,” Queen added. “When you get a guy who has 120, 130, 140 tackles a year, you get a playmaker, an All-Pro guy. It makes you want to raise your game. It makes you want to be great. It makes you want to be better than him, and I say that on a really respectful level. Just to be able to work alongside him, and see how he approaches his game, see how he studies the game, it’s just truly special.”

Things seem to be settled down now as Queen is ready for the season despite not having a new contract, with GM Eric DeCosta and LB Roquan Smith weighing in on Queen’s abilities.

“I think we’ve seen in the NFL now — a lot of teams are dealing with it — these players that are holding in, or they’re not showing up, or they’re holding out, or they’re unhappy, or they’re spouting off publicly,” DeCosta said. “Patrick’s just a guy that shows up to work every single day. He’s a very, very talented player. Very, very selfless, beloved by his teammates. He’s a leader, and we expect him to have a great season.”

“He has a tremendous mindset,” Smith added. “For the guy to just turn 24 years old and to see how mature he’s become even since I met him last year, I’ve been truly impressed. I think he’s handling it like a pro. At the end of the day, and I’ve told him this many times, you can’t worry about things outside your control. Just focus on the things that you can control and that’s what you do on the field, what you do in the classroom, and how you are around your teammates. He has the mindset that whatever he wants for himself, he can achieve it. Every time I see him post something on social media, I’m like, ‘Bro, we’ve got to let people know exactly who we are and leave no doubt on exactly how good we are,’ We’ve got to prove that week in and week out, and it can’t just be a one-game wonder, two games, three games. We’ve got to do that for 17 consecutive weeks, and then when the postseason comes, do it each and every week in the postseason as well.’”

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