AFC Notes: Orlando Brown, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


Bengals LT Orlando Brown thinks Cincinnati’s system is “very different” from what he played with the Chiefs but feels it allows him to play more aggressively in certain situations 

“It’ll be very different for me personally,” Brown said. “A lot of these drops by Patrick (Mahomes) right here in the Super Bowl were similar to kind of what I’m going to see in Cincinnati, but so many different concepts that we run in Cincinnati compared to Kansas City from a pass standpoint with the receivers, you know, it’s gonna be a lot more firm. It’s gonna be a lot more quicker, you know, I’ll be able to be a lot more aggressive in certain situations, just given the personnel and the way that they call plays.”


The Ravens didn’t necessarily need a safety when they used a first-round pick on S Kyle Hamilton last year, as they already had S Marcus Williams and S Chuck Clark. But more than other organizations, Baltimore believes in adding talented players and figuring everything else out later. There was a learning curve for Hamilton as he adapted to playing slot defender as a rookie, most notably in two blown coverages against the Dolphins in Week 3, but by the end of the season he was more than holding his own, finishing as PFF’s highest-graded safety. 

“It was kind of a weird thing. I didn’t know if I was going to play safety and Chuck was going to play nickel or what. I had some ups and downs,” Hamilton said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “For me, they just didn’t give it to me. I had to earn my way onto the field. When I started playing nickel, my first thought was just to play free and go make plays, I think that helped me out a lot. I started playing a lot more free and not even thinking about making plays. Just let it happen. I didn’t think about playing nickel too much going into the season. I didn’t have an inkling that I would do that until probably Week 4. Honestly, the first week I started playing nickel was the first time they told me I was going to play nickel. I had to adapt. Luckily, I was able to do that.”

With Clark traded, there’s a path for Hamilton to move back to safety in 2023. Hamilton thinks there’s plenty of room for his game to improve, particularly when it comes to communication and stepping up as a leader of the defense. 

“It’s hard not to look ahead. Hopefully, my role is to emerge as a leader,” Hamilton said. “I still have a lot to prove in order to accept that role and that position from the guys. But just being a vocal leader in a sense of communicating on the field, not necessarily as a rah-rah speech guy, but making sure everybody is on the same page. And then just raise my play to a different level. I thought I played okay last year. I could have played a lot better from my perspective. I have high expectations for myself and I try to hold myself to that standard.”


Steelers TE Connor Heyward isn’t surprised the team drafted a tight end to add further competition to what’s looking like a deep room. Pittsburgh took third-round TE Darnell Washington and already had TE Pat Freiermuth leading the room. 

“Honestly, I kind of figured we were going to do it and it didn’t concern me or bother me,” Heyward said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “They bring in competition at every position. This is the NFL. The best guys are going to play and that is what I was taught at a young age. Darnell is a good addition to our room. He considers himself a sixth offensive lineman and we all know I am not one of those.”

Heyward hits on a big point in that while he, Washington and Freiermuth all play the same position technically, they have dramatically different skill sets. 

“Keeping the defense on their heels this year is a big key and hopefully I can help us do that,” Heyward added. “By Week 1 we will have a good idea of what will be happening. We are going to add the new with the old and have multiple big bodies out there.”

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply