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coldrolled
03-15-2012, 09:10 AM
Division Activity

Division rivals take an early hit
Within the first 24 hours after free agency opened, each of the Steelers’ AFC North Division rivals had lost players – in many cases, starting players – to other teams.

One of the strengths of the 2011 Cincinnati Bengals team that finished 9-7 and qualified for the playoffs as a Wild Card was the depth of the defensive line. Cincinnati was able to utilize any of eight defensive linemen in a rotation for a particular game, and that group – Domata Peko, Robert Geathers, Carlos Dunlap, Pat Sims, Geno Atkins, Jonathan Fanene, Frostee Rucker and Michael Johnson – was a key to a defense that finished No. 7 in the NFL in yards allowed and No. 9 in points allowed.

But alas, those eight have already dwindled to six. New England signed Fanene to a three-year contract, and the Browns pilfered Rucker from their in-state rivals.

The Baltimore Ravens defense lost a starter when Jarrett Johnson signed with the San Diego Chargers. Johnson, 30, had 56 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the Ravens in 2011. In his nine seasons, all with the Ravens, Johnson had 20 sacks.

The Cleveland Browns lost Peyton Hillis to the Kansas City Chiefs, who reportedly signed the 26-year-old running back to a one-year contract worth $3 million. Hillis rushed for 1,177 yards with a 4.4 average and 11 touchdowns for the Browns in 2010 when Brian Daboll was the team’s offensive coordinator. Daboll now holds the same position for the Chiefs.

LatrobePA
03-15-2012, 09:15 AM
Cinci will be the team to beat! Flacco will sign a huge contract to only have a bad year! Browns will be the same old Browns..

coldrolled
03-15-2012, 10:46 AM
Grubbs agrees to five-year, $36 million contract with Saints

BlitzburghRockCity
03-15-2012, 11:04 AM
The Ravens lost Grubbs now today too, that's 3 players so far, all starters I think. They draft well but it's still going to be a hit for them next year.

The Browns are losing players left and right, and the Bengals lost Rucker to the Browns and Fanene to the Patriots so they aren't immune to free agency either.

coldrolled
03-15-2012, 02:59 PM
Former Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura has a free-agent visit scheduled with the Panthers on Thursday, according to a league source.

SteelDad
03-15-2012, 03:28 PM
Ravens typically make one big splash in FA but not this year it appears. I believe they lost a DL too right?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk

coldrolled
03-15-2012, 03:35 PM
Redding Signs With Colts

The veteran defensive end has reportedly followed Chuck Pagano to Indianapolis.



Ravens typically make one big splash in FA but not this year it appears. I believe they lost a DL too right?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk

LatrobePA
03-15-2012, 03:37 PM
F'n stinky *** colts can have them all!

coldrolled
03-15-2012, 03:38 PM
Guard Evan Mathis is scheduled to visit Baltimore on Thursday, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter. With starting guard Ben Grubbs visiting New Orleans, Mathis would be his replacement. The 6-foot-5 Mathis, 30, started 15 games for the Eagles last year. It was his fourth team in seven NFL seasons.

LatrobePA
03-15-2012, 04:01 PM
Guard Evan Mathis is scheduled to visit Baltimore on Thursday, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter. With starting guard Ben Grubbs visiting New Orleans, Mathis would be his replacement. The 6-foot-5 Mathis, 30, started 15 games for the Eagles last year. It was his fourth team in seven NFL seasons.

Don't we need guards? Wonder why they wouldn't bring him in here?? Oh wait, our line is "fine"!!

cmerrifield
03-15-2012, 04:21 PM
Actually cause Colbert said this draft is deep for interior lineman.

sent from my Evo using tapatalk

coldrolled
03-15-2012, 04:41 PM
A Tension Reducer Column

Jason La Canfora NFL Network

Best teams don't need to go bonkers early in free agency

I'll take the contrarian view on this one and applaud some of the teams that aren't diving into the market. The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers never go nuts this time of year, for good reason. Prices quickly inflate and free agents often underperform.

Waiting for the market to deflate and then scooping up selective free agents on one-year, prove-it contracts can be wise if your scouting department is strong. (Think San Francisco with Alex Smith and Carlos Rogers a year ago.)

The best teams don't need to go bonkers on the first three days the market opens and the very best deals are generally those that secure proven talent to an existing team -- like the extensions given Calvin Johnson and Trent Cole.

LatrobePA
03-15-2012, 05:22 PM
I go bonkers so they should too! lol

Real Deal Steel
03-15-2012, 08:49 PM
Grubbs gone was a hit on the Ravens. Little doubt who there targeting with their first round pick.

coldrolled
03-19-2012, 09:02 AM
Ravens Loss

Zbikowski, who spent his first four NFL seasons in Baltimore, joined former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano in Indianapolis..

General Marty Hurney said the Panthers signed safety Haruki Nakamura, a productive special teams player interested in more playing time on defense. Ironically, Tom Zbikowski, another Ravens safety fighting for playing time.

Heading to Indianapolis to reunite with Pagano is defensive end Cory Redding via a reported three-year, $10.5 million contract.

coldrolled
03-21-2012, 07:37 PM
RB Green-Ellis agrees to terms on deal with Bengals

coldrolled
03-22-2012, 12:36 PM
Broncos sign Bengals Caldwell.... there goes the broncos at #25

connecticutsteel
03-22-2012, 09:21 PM
The Steelers signed Wes Lyons again for Latrobe maybe he will make it this time if he could beef up a little it whould be kinda good to have a6'8" target

LatrobePA
03-24-2012, 05:07 AM
Ravens just Shored up their secondary with the signing of a couple FA cb NFL.com has the story.

coldrolled
03-24-2012, 12:43 PM
Grubbs gone was a hit on the Ravens. Little doubt who there targeting with their first round pick.

if we dont get hightower they will lewis is an old man....

Nolrog
03-24-2012, 01:24 PM
if we dont get hightower they will lewis is an old man....


I haven't paid attention to any Baltimore mocks, but I think that's very possible.

steelspikes
03-25-2012, 11:54 AM
Don't we need guards? Wonder why they wouldn't bring him in here?? Oh wait, our line is "fine"!! Steelers don't have cap space to sign OL player of Mathis' caliber; Since losing Grubbs, Ratbirds do.

coldrolled
03-27-2012, 06:46 AM
With Peyton Hillis gone, Cleveland could select the 2012 NFL Draft's top running back, Alabama's Trent Richardson.


With the initial free-agency frenzy winding down, organizations are turning their attention to the 2012 NFL Draft. What are the biggest remaining holes for each AFC North team? Let's examine ...


Baltimore Ravens
Needs: SS, WR, LG, DE, OLB

Baltimore's defense led the team to the 2011 AFC Championship Game, ranking third in the league in total defense, but general manager Ozzie Newsome will look to bolster some spots with much-needed youth and depth. The loss of Tom Zbikowski to the Indianapolis Colts leaves the team thin at safety. Signing Sean Considine picks up a bit of the slack and veteran Bernard Pollard could man one starting spot again, but no one knows how much longer Pro Bowl center fielder Ed Reed will be with the team. Losing long-time starter Jarret Johnson opens up spots for young players like Paul Kruger and Sergio Kindle -- or the team might add more talent through the draft. Defensive end Cory Redding signed with the Colts, too, creating an opening in the three-man front.

Quarterback Joe Flacco also needs more support at receiver to improve the Ravens' 19th-ranked passing game, as Lee Evans never really became a threat beside Anquan Boldin and rookie Torrey Smith last season. Baltimore must replace left guard Ben Grubbs, now with the New Orleans Saints, to keep Flacco upright and star running back Ray Rice moving the chains.

Cincinnati Bengals
Needs: WR, RG, DE, OLB, CB, RB

Led by a rookie pass-catch combination of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, the Bengals were a playoff team in 2011. Jerome Simpson pled guilty to a drug-related felony, however, and Andre Caldwell's defection to Denver also generated a need at receiver. Cincinnati hired New England running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis to replace free agent Cedric Benson (who averaged just 3.9 yards a carry last season), but the Bengals might not be done that position. They replaced departed free agent Nate Livings with former Carolina starter Travelle Wharton, but still need a starting right guard if veteran Bobbie Williams is not brought back.

The team's defense finished in the top 10 in both yards and points allowed last fall, but lost key defensive linemen Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene in free agency. Meanwhile, new Bengals Jamaal Anderson and Derrick Harvey had a total of three sacks between them in 2011. Former San Francisco 49ers first-round pick Manny Lawson started at the strong-side linebacker spot for the Bengals last year; if he doesn't return, head coach Marvin Lewis must decide if second-year player Dontay Moch is ready to start or if more talent is needed there. Former Miami Dolphins defensive back Jason Allen was signed as insurance for injured cornerback Leon Hall, but more depth is needed.



Davis: Mock Draft 3.0

With the first three picks presumably set, Charles Davis says the Browns can really shape next month's NFL draft. More ...


Cleveland Browns
Needs: RB, QB, RT, WR, FS, CB

Cleveland averaged just 13.6 points a game last season with quarterback Colt McCoy running the show. Now that bell-cow running back Peyton Hillis has officially taken his antics to Kansas City, team president Mike Holmgren could be looking to add talent at all skill positions throughout the draft. The question will be whether the Browns pick the draft's top running back (Trent Richardson), No. 1 receiver (Justin Blackmon), or third quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) with the fourth overall pick. Unless the Browns think Oniel Cousins is their starting right tackle, they'll also need to fill that spot.

The Browns had a top-five scoring defense in 2011, and signed defensive ends Frostee Rucker from rival Cincinnati and Juqua Parker from Philadelphia. Not to mention locking up linebacker D'Qwell Jackson to a five-year extension. They will need to add depth in the secondary after losing free agent safety Mike Adams.



Pittsburgh Steelers
Needs: OL, WR, NT, CB

At times in 2011, the Steelers struggled to suit up five healthy offensive linemen to protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. They return four starters on the line and brought back Willie Colon to potentially start at right tackle, but multiple draft picks might still be used up front. The team's all-time leading receiver, Hines Ward, decided to retire instead of going to another team, while restricted free agent Mike Wallace (1,193 yards, 8 TD in 2011) might get a substantial offer from a receiver-hungry team that the Steelers can't match. The team likes Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders in complementary roles, but losing Wallace would create a huge hole on offense.

Though the Steelers possessed the league's top defense in both total yardage and points allowed last fall, they could still use help at the cornerback position and add depth throughout the rest of the squad. The strongest need is at nose tackle, as 11-year starter Casey Hampton is recovering from offseason ACL surgery.

coldrolled
03-27-2012, 07:40 PM
Wow.. Ben really got cheated.

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Coach Marvin Lewis says the Cincinnati Bengals are open to offering receiver Jerome Simpson another contract even though he could be headed to jail and faces a suspension from the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy.

Lewis told reporters at the NFL's owners meetings on Tuesday that he wouldn't "rule it out" that the club could offer the free-agent receiver another contract. Simpson has spent his four NFL seasons with the Bengals.

Simpson pleaded guilty on March 1 to a drug-related charge resulting from 2 pounds of marijuana shipped to his home in September. Prosecutors recommended a 60-day jail stay. A judge will decide whether to lessen the punishment at a hearing on April 5.

Simpson also faces a possible four-game suspension from the NFL

BlitzburghRockCity
03-30-2012, 03:01 PM
Some things never change, the Bengals still holding onto trouble makers..LOL.

coldrolled
04-05-2012, 04:18 PM
Ok, How long does Goodell side line a felon/convict?

Simpson was originally indicted on a felony charge of marijuana trafficking, but as part of the plea deal the charge was changed to a prohibited act relating to controlled substances, also a felony.

LatrobePA
04-05-2012, 07:02 PM
Let's not forget the Bengals now have a cheerleader in trouble for screwing her under age student..

Real Deal Steel
04-05-2012, 10:43 PM
Even their Cheerleaders are jail bound. Damn.

coldrolled
04-06-2012, 07:08 AM
OG for Cinci ? Bengals Official Website News

David DeCastro may be the most highly regarded of the group. An ornery, mauling offensive guard, he is an ideal fit in the Bengals man-power blocking scheme. While his run blocking stands out most, DeCastro is also technically sound in pass protection, fairly athletic, and versatile enough to project to a number of positions. Another option in the opening round is Peter Konz of Wisconsin. Though he anchored the Badgers Rose Bowl teams from the center spot, Konz has the size, strength and awareness to successfully move to guard. Another physical run blocker, he shows the passion for the game that Alexander desires.

ChucktownSteeler
04-08-2012, 03:45 PM
Some things never change, the Bengals still holding onto trouble makers..LOL.

Heck, even their cheerleaders make the news! LOL

C-town

BlitzburghRockCity
04-09-2012, 08:26 PM
An ornery, mauling offensive guard, he is an ideal fit in the Bengals man-power blocking scheme.

Gotta give the Bengals credit here if they continue to build up that offensive line. If they can get Red gun, Red head, Strawberry noggin, BeeBee gun, or whatever their QB's name is, some more weapons they'll have the making of a potent offense.

coldrolled
04-11-2012, 01:10 PM
Report: Browns interested in LB Vontaze Burfict

The Cleveland Browns lead the NFL with 13 selections in this month's draft, and general manager Tom Heckert might be willing to take a risk with one of those picks.

The Browns have shown interest in drafting Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, multiple sources told told ESPN Cleveland on Tuesday. "(Burfict) would be a late-round value pick," one source told the site.

The Butkus Award semifinalist is known for his attacking, physical play, but also for a lack of discipline that cost Arizona State on and off the field.

Burfict generated negative press in 2011 for a locker-room scuffle with teammate Kevin Ozier, a wide receiver. I sat in on a conversation with Burfict at the combine where he said he learned from the incident. In the same conversation, Burfict cast blame on his college coaches for an "average" junior season.

"The coaches kind of messed me up, like, I didn’t know if I was going to start a game, I didn't know if I was going to be benched," Burfict said. "So, it hurt me at times, but I tried to fight through it."

NFL.com draft guru Chad Reuter was a stone's throw away when this report came through and weighed in on Burfict's value.

"Burfict flashes explosive hitting ability between the tackles, but given his lack of discipline on and off the field at Arizona State, scouts aren't sure he has what it takes between the ears," Reuter said. "I fully expect, however, that a team will take a shot on him late with the hopes that he matures and takes advantage of his physical gifts to become a battering ram against the run."

The Browns are (eternally) in need of a "battering ram against the run," and while the team already has a middle linebacker locked down in D'Qwell Jackson, he's the type of veteran who could help mentor a younger player.

Heckert drafted wideout Greg Little and defensive end Jabaal Sheard last season. Both came with off-the-field issues, but were productive in Cleveland. With a bounty of picks, Cleveland might be willing to roll the dice again.

ChucktownSteeler
04-11-2012, 06:33 PM
The Bengals are improving, but still are owned by Brown and have trouble staying on the better side of the jail bars.

C-town

BlacknGoldHaze
04-11-2012, 07:43 PM
Cinci will be the team to beat! Flacco will sign a huge contract to only have a bad year! Browns will be the same old Browns..

Agreed....I think the Bungles will be our main competition this year.....Dalton looks scary good especially with AJ Green to throw to.

coldrolled
04-24-2012, 02:43 PM
Free-agent wideout Jerome Simpson and the Minnesota Vikings agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday, according to NFL Network contributor and Fox Sports Insider Jay Glazer.

Simpson visited with the Vikings over the weekend, which reportedly went "incredibly well."

The Vikings were a handful of teams considering the former Bengal, who could face suspension by the NFL after receiving a 15-day jail sentence and three years' probation in connection to a felony drug charge.

The St. Louis Rams also reportedly showed interest in Simpson as they look to surround franchise quarterback Sam Bradford with weapons.

Simpson gained attention in December by flipping over a defender and landing on his feet in the end zone.

A second-round pick out of Coastal Carolina, Simpson has hauled in 71 passes for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons in Cincinnati.

coldrolled
04-26-2012, 07:53 AM
Just for fun... Good Luck Andrew Luck...

The Browns select Tim Couch #1 overall pick...

Later on in Browns town....

The dismissal of the 51-year-old Arians has been expected for weeks.

Cleveland's offense was supposed to be the team's strongest unit this season. However, injuries across the offensive line and inconsistency from quarterbacks Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb led to the offense dropping in several key statistical categories.

The Browns fell from No. 23 to No. 26 in total yardage, went from No. 18 to No. 25 in passing and scored just 15.9 points per game after averaging 21.9 in 2002.

God did that sound familiar....


Todd Haley is going to be great..... Lets start this season already.....

Ben is going to have a great year...

coldrolled
04-26-2012, 10:57 AM
Hmm.. Is Romeo Crennel having team problems....

Maybe Bowe is looking for Haley.. Romeo and Bruce would make a fine tandem in Indy...

Kansas City Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe has no plans to sign his franchise tag soon, a source with knowledge of the situation said Thursday, contrary to an Internet report.

Bowe, like other franchise players who have yet to sign their tags, is hoping to get a long-term deal, but nothing is imminent. The NFL's deadline for franchised players to agree to a long-term contract is July 15.

Bowe would make $9.5 million in 2012 if he signed his franchise tender.

coldrolled
04-26-2012, 07:16 PM
Browns trade for Vikings' No. 3 pick

coach
04-26-2012, 07:30 PM
Minni did a good job getting 3 extra picks and still get to take Kalil at 4 overall.

coldrolled
04-26-2012, 07:36 PM
maybe the browns want kalil to go with thomas?

LevonKirkland99
04-26-2012, 10:14 PM
Why is Cleveland picking a QB...McCoy a bust?

coldrolled
05-01-2012, 06:20 AM
Steve Wyche from NFL.com Predicts the #1 pick for the 2013 draft..

Browns will edge out Vikings for No. 1 spot

There are two front-runners at the moment and they were partners in a top-four trade this draft: The Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns.

In honor of this early projection of dubiousness, I give the edge to Cleveland to be picking first overall in 2013 because it doesn't know if Colt McCoy or rookie Brandon Weeden will be the starting quarterback. At least the Vikings know Christian Ponder is their guy. The rest of the roster remains rather devoid of playmakers, although Trent Richardson and wideout Greg Little in his second season could add a little hot sauce to the otherwise unseasoned dish the Browns are offering up.

In addition, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens aren't going anywhere in the AFC North. The Cincinnati Bengals, if they can avoid the typical bottoming out after a good season that usually transpires, are on the come up.

Nolrog
05-01-2012, 06:26 AM
Based on a lot of things I read, people are saying Cincy had an excellent draft. Not so sure about Baltimore. I think they did OK, but not spectacular. Cleveland, well, they drafted in true Cleveland style.

BlacknGoldHaze
05-01-2012, 10:59 PM
The Browns are QB killers.....they haven't really had a decent QB since Brian Sipe....:lol:

coldrolled
05-07-2012, 06:08 PM
The Browns are QB killers.....they haven't really had a decent QB since Brian Sipe....:lol:

Arians is the QB killer. Watch Luck...

coldrolled
05-07-2012, 06:08 PM
The Baltimore Ravens have signed suspended free-agent nose tackle Ryan McBean, the team said Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McBean was suspended for six games by the NFL in March for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.

McBean played the past three seasons for the Denver Broncos, recording 77 tackles and four sacks in 46 games.

The six-year veteran was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 2007 draft.

The Ravens signed veteran defensive lineman Ma'ake Kemoeatu to a one-year deal last week.

ChucktownSteeler
05-07-2012, 06:14 PM
The Baltimore Ravens have signed suspended free-agent nose tackle Ryan McBean, the team said Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McBean was suspended for six games by the NFL in March for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.

McBean played the past three seasons for the Denver Broncos, recording 77 tackles and four sacks in 46 games.

The six-year veteran was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 2007 draft.



Do they also attain the rights to Steely McBeam?

coldrolled
05-08-2012, 02:03 PM
AFC North

Defending champion: Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore wasthisclose to getting to the Super Bowl and seemed equipped to make a serious run for it this season, as QB Joe Flacco got things going toward the end of the season. Losing starting OLB Jarret Johnson in free agency hurt, but not nearly as much as having Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs injure his Achilles' tendon, putting his availability for the entire 2012 season in serious jeopardy. Top draft pick Courtney Upshaw is going to have to grow up quick.

Biggest threat, based on offseason moves: Cincinnati Bengals.
As I alluded to in the first sentence of this column, the Steelers figure to be in the thick of the divisional hunt (per usual). But they won't be alone ... The Bengals don't tend to follow up strong seasons with better ones, but now could be the time. Free-agent cornerbacks Jason Allen and Terence Newman aren't special players, but defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer finds ways to resurrect DBs who fell off elsewhere. The acquisition of RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis is going to look very savvy come midseason. He's a reliable, do-it-all guy. Not much flash, but very sound. Few teams appeared to have killed it like Cincy did in the draft, nabbing six players in the first four rounds who could contribute right away, leading with CB Dre Kirkpatrick and guard Kevin Zeitler.

Hoosier
05-09-2012, 01:05 AM
bring 'em on!

coldrolled
05-11-2012, 12:42 PM
Browns confirm Phil Taylor will undergo pectoral surgery
By Gregg Rosenthal

The post-draft optimism in Cleveland didn't last long. Browns coach Pat Shurmur confirmed Friday that last year's first round pick, nose tackle Phil Taylor, will undergo surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle next week.

The injury was first reported Thursday, but the team had yet to complete tests on Taylor.

Taylor was up and down as a rookie, but he showed enough potential for the Browns to view him as a solid core piece of their defense.

"He's going to miss a significant amount of time ... more months than weeks," Shurmur said told reporters. "It's too early to speculate how long that will be. It's just one of those things that happened. It's unfortunate. We feel bad for Phil. But he's in good spirits and he's going to come back from this thing stronger than ever."

The good news here is that the injury happened in May instead of September. Taylor should be able to make it back in the 2012 season. He might have to start the season on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list, which would knock him out of the first six weeks of the season.

Real Deal Steel
05-11-2012, 01:06 PM
Good..we are going to attack that middle of their D-line then. Wherever their weak, that's where we hit them.

Number99
05-11-2012, 02:20 PM
Browns confirm Phil Taylor will undergo pectoral surgery
By Gregg Rosenthal

The post-draft optimism in Cleveland didn't last long. Browns coach Pat Shurmur confirmed Friday that last year's first round pick, nose tackle Phil Taylor, will undergo surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle next week.

The injury was first reported Thursday, but the team had yet to complete tests on Taylor.

Taylor was up and down as a rookie, but he showed enough potential for the Browns to view him as a solid core piece of their defense.

"He's going to miss a significant amount of time ... more months than weeks," Shurmur said told reporters. "It's too early to speculate how long that will be. It's just one of those things that happened. It's unfortunate. We feel bad for Phil. But he's in good spirits and he's going to come back from this thing stronger than ever."

The good news here is that the injury happened in May instead of September. Taylor should be able to make it back in the 2012 season. He might have to start the season on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list, which would knock him out of the first six weeks of the season.


Yea I saw this too. First Suggs now Taylor. Both beasts when it comes down to on the field play.

ChucktownSteeler
05-11-2012, 05:53 PM
I hate to see any injuries to any players. I want the opposition at full strength when we pummel them.

C-town

coldrolled
05-12-2012, 09:24 AM
Vontaze Burfict embracing opportunity with Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI -- Vontaze Burfict swooped in from his middle linebacker spot and closed on the ball carrier, then quickly pulled up to avoid any contact. He was practicing the thing he needs to improve upon most.

No cheap shots. No late hits. No losing control.

The linebacker from Arizona State wasn't selected in the NFL draft last month, in large part because of the way he plays. He repeatedly was penalized for personal fouls in college, despite his coaches' insistence that he change. He also did poorly at the NFL Scouting Combine drills, marking himself a huge risk.

One cheap shot, and he could be gone. And he knows it.

"Yeah, that's what I practiced on today," Burfict said Friday, after the first workout of the Bengals' rookie minicamp. "We didn't have any pads on. You've got to be disciplined today. You have chances to hit somebody, but you let up. It just comes with practice."

The Bengals are known for taking chances on players with trouble in their college careers. They took Chris Henry in the third round in 2005, despite his troubles at West Virginia. In recent years, they've slightly changed their approach, signing troubled players to low-risk deals.

Burfict fits the pattern.

He was the Pac-10 defensive freshman of the year, starting nine games at middle linebacker. He quickly amassed a history of personal fouls -- more than a dozen in his career, including a 2010 game in which he head-butted Oregon State's Ryan Katz after the quarterback got up from a tackle and headed back to the huddle.

Last season, Burfict led the Sun Devils in sacks but was benched in the second half of a game after getting two personal fouls.

Burfict's poor performance at the combine sealed his reputation. He wrote NFL teams a letter giving his side of the situation, and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis showed an interest.

Lewis called him after the seventh round of the draft was completed and Burfict was still available.

"Not being picked, going undrafted -- I have a big chip on my shoulder," Burfict said. "And I'm ready to hit somebody."

Root4Stlrs
05-12-2012, 05:46 PM
Vontaze Burfict embracing opportunity with Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI -- Vontaze Burfict swooped in from his middle linebacker spot and closed on the ball carrier, then quickly pulled up to avoid any contact. He was practicing the thing he needs to improve upon most.

No cheap shots. No late hits. No losing control.

The linebacker from Arizona State wasn't selected in the NFL draft last month, in large part because of the way he plays. He repeatedly was penalized for personal fouls in college, despite his coaches' insistence that he change. He also did poorly at the NFL Scouting Combine drills, marking himself a huge risk.

One cheap shot, and he could be gone. And he knows it.

"Yeah, that's what I practiced on today," Burfict said Friday, after the first workout of the Bengals' rookie minicamp. "We didn't have any pads on. You've got to be disciplined today. You have chances to hit somebody, but you let up. It just comes with practice."

The Bengals are known for taking chances on players with trouble in their college careers. They took Chris Henry in the third round in 2005, despite his troubles at West Virginia. In recent years, they've slightly changed their approach, signing troubled players to low-risk deals.

Burfict fits the pattern.

He was the Pac-10 defensive freshman of the year, starting nine games at middle linebacker. He quickly amassed a history of personal fouls -- more than a dozen in his career, including a 2010 game in which he head-butted Oregon State's Ryan Katz after the quarterback got up from a tackle and headed back to the huddle.

Last season, Burfict led the Sun Devils in sacks but was benched in the second half of a game after getting two personal fouls.

Burfict's poor performance at the combine sealed his reputation. He wrote NFL teams a letter giving his side of the situation, and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis showed an interest.

Lewis called him after the seventh round of the draft was completed and Burfict was still available.

"Not being picked, going undrafted -- I have a big chip on my shoulder," Burfict said. "And I'm ready to hit somebody."
"I have a big chip on my shoulder. Can't wait to hit somebody." Although common statements, maybe not what he should be emphasizing if trying to change his cheap shot ways and be convincing.

coldrolled
05-12-2012, 08:17 PM
Weeden's got a cannon, and his major league arm was on display again Saturday as Cleveland's rookies continued their three-day minicamp with two practices.

Weeden's arm strength has been well-documented, and not just by the TV science experiment. While in college, he dislocated two of Cooper's fingers with missiles over the middle.

"He can either fire it in there or put some touch on it," Cooper said. "He's that kind of quarterback. He knows what to do with the ball."

coldrolled
05-14-2012, 08:25 AM
The Ravens just finished up a session of rookie minicamp here in scenic Owings Mills, Md., and a big topic of conversation was Courtney Upshaw. The second-rounder from Alabama, the Ravens highest draft pick, will be expected to come in and compete. That was the deal anyway.

But when stud pass-rusher Terrell Suggs went down with a torn Achilles, putting his 2012 in jeopardy, the spotlight shined brighter on the newest outside linebacker.

Upshaw is hoping to step in and earn a spot on the field. But he isn’t putting undue pressure on himself.

“The coaches told me to come out here this mini-camp and learn the defense, come out here and compete,” Upshaw said. “Honestly, speaking on Suggs, there’s only one Suggs. You can’t replace Suggs. Everybody’s got to come in as a team. The veteran leadership on this team is not going to allow slacking on my part or anybody else’s. Everybody’s gotta step up.”

Good attitude. And really, Upshaw will combine with Paul Kruger, Sergio Kindle and others to make up for the loss of 14 sacks

jpele
05-14-2012, 08:39 AM
Ravens | Courtney Upshaw will look to drop weight
Sun, 13 May 2012 11:39:51 -0700

Baltimore Ravens LB Courtney Upshaw said he will try to lose some weight this offseason in order to get ready for the start of training camp. He wants to be well conditioned when competing for a starting job.



Read more: http://www.kffl.com/hotw/nfl#ixzz1uqaeQgSA

coldrolled
05-15-2012, 05:54 AM
First-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick got off to a tough start on Friday, leaving some worried about whether he has the pace to take on top receivers in the NFL and close down in space. Kirkpatrick thrived bumping receivers at the line in college, and there are doubts he will be able to employ that strategy against bigger pro receivers.

Mike Zimmer has used this weekend to begin the transition, and there is hope that Kirkpatrick can get up to speed fairly quickly.

coldrolled
05-20-2012, 09:23 AM
Flacco to the rescue!!!

Joe Flacco isn't perfect. Study his tape from last season and you'll find a handful of rock-solid starts mixed with a rash of mysterious outings. One week he's shredding the Pittsburgh Steelers, crashing the elite-QB conversation; the next he's frazzled and desperate against a weak-sister Jacksonville Jaguars squad on national television.

The Ravens have played good defense for so long that Flacco's early-career achievements are sometimes brushed aside. He was asked this week how he'll respond if that revered defense suffers with the loss of All-Pro linebacker Terrell Suggs. In essence, if Baltimore surrenders points, can Flacco roll with the training wheels off?

"I want us to get in more of a mind-set where we have to score points," Flacco told the team's official website. "Should this be something that makes us do that? No. We shouldn't feel any more pressure because we don't have (Suggs). We still have a great defense and we still have a great team.

"But having said that, if it does put more pressure on us, if we do feel like we have more pressure on us and we need to score more, I don't think that's a bad thing."

Flacco is the first NFL signal-caller to win a postseason game in each of his first four years in the league, but even that hasn't won his critics over. Carrying that rugged defense for once might help.

coldrolled
05-25-2012, 02:35 PM
Heres a classic Bengals draft pick

Cincinnati Bengals undrafted rookie linebacker Brandon Joiner's NFL career will be on hold after the 23-year-old was sentenced to three years in prison over a 2007 robbery that occurred when Joiner was a freshman at Texas A&M, the Bryan College Station Eagles reports.

Joiner was indicted on two counts of aggravated robbery and one charge of felony drug possession. Joiner and another former player were arrested and charged with robbery after breaking into a College Station apartment and robbing a drug dealer at gunpoint. Joiner had been on probation for the first robbery count and was sentenced to three years in prison on the drug charge, with the sentences to run concurrently. With good behavior, Joiner's attorney believes his client could be released in six to nine months.

coldrolled
05-25-2012, 02:37 PM
Pollard of the Ravens is calling for big things...

"Whatever happened last year was last year. We're moving on to this year. The 2012 football season is going to be exciting," strong safety Bernard Pollard told The Baltimore Sun this week. "You've got so many people saying what we can't do, who we're facing, how many quarterbacks can do this, what offenses do that. It does not matter because when the whistle blows and you're between those white (lines), you can't stop us. And we're excited with what we have."

Pollard was part of a defense that ranked third in the NFL last season, only to fall short of its goal. He praised the work of general manager Ozzie Newsome, who used this offseason to re-sign talent (including Pollard, through 2015) and draft new pieces to the puzzle.

The loss of Terrell Suggs hangs in the air, but the Ravens don't sound like a team willing to let that loss derail them from chasing what eluded them one season ago.

coldrolled
05-25-2012, 02:39 PM
Uni Brow...

Enter Joe Flacco: the perfect storm of pressure.

Flacco is entering his fifth season as starter for the Baltimore Ravens, a run that has included personal success (44-20 career record, five playoff wins), but no Super Bowl appearances.

This Lombardi-free reality casts his career in a disappointing light when you factor in the talent that's populated Baltimore's defense in the last half decade. With a core of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata, the Ravens are built for championship runs. That they haven't been able to get out of the AFC playoffs makes you wonder what's missing on the other side of the ball.

The potentially season-wrecking Achilles injury suffered by Terrell Suggs earlier this month amped up the pressure on Flacco and Co. After years of being "carried" by the defense, can the offense now do some of the heavy lifting?

"We shouldn't feel any more pressure because we don't have (Suggs)," Flacco said last week. "We still have a great defense and we still have a great team.

"But having said that, if it does put more pressure on us, if we do feel like we have more pressure on us and we need to score more, I don't think that's a bad thing."

Those are the outside pressures that face Flacco. The next level is created by internal factors

DBR96A
05-25-2012, 04:56 PM
The Browns are QB killers.....they haven't really had a decent QB since Brian Sipe....:lol:

Bernie Kosar was pretty good. Not great, but you could do a lot worse. I'd put him in the same category as guys like Randall Cunningham, Drew Bledsoe and Donovan McNabb.

DBR96A
05-25-2012, 04:58 PM
Arians is the QB killer. Watch Luck...

Bruce Arians is exactly why I'm putting my money on Robert Griffin III being the better of the two QBs.

coldrolled
05-25-2012, 05:01 PM
Bruce Arians is exactly why I'm putting my money on Robert Griffin III being the better of the two QBs.

When i was younger in Rocky River, Ohio i had lunch at this deli with bernie sitting adjacent to me a few times, he was a big guy, nice dude. He was no cunningham though. Arians did destroy Tim Couch.. He was a #1 QB just like Luck... I hope Bruce learned something over the years for Luck's sake.

coldrolled
06-05-2012, 05:03 AM
Suggs and the Ravens previously circled late November as his targeted return. It's an ambitious timetable, but Suggs isn't backing off it.

"Late November, that will be the latest I return," he said. "Going into the (hyperbaric) chamber is an option, it certainly can't hurt. I can take an iPad and iPod in there and spend a few hours a day. It can only help the healing process."

Suggs is an intense competitor, and he acknowledged he believes he injured himself by "pushing too hard." The duty of the Ravens' medical staff is to keep him on a program and schedule that doesn't put him in danger of a damaging setback.

The Ravens undoubtedly will get him the best treatment possible, but Suggs will have to be smart about himself.

coldrolled
06-05-2012, 05:06 AM
Green was asked about Dalton's arm strength Monday during an appearance on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access."

"I don't know why people question his arm," Green said. "I don't believe you have to throw the ball 80 yards every play. You know, just get it out there where I can catch it."

Dalton's arm strength, or rather the lack thereof, remains a hotly debated topic even though it did not prevent him from passing for 3,398 yards and 20 touchdowns or representing his team in the Pro Bowl last season. Dalton's arm also did not keep Green from averaging over 16 yards per reception and becoming the first rookie receiver to earn a Pro Bowl berth since 2003.

As evidenced by his rookie season, Dalton is strong enough to succeed in Jay Gruden's West Coast system. That said, the "Red Rifle" might want to take the advice Red Auerbach gave to Bill Russell by throwing the occasional elbow this season to keep opposing secondaries honest.

LatrobePA
06-05-2012, 08:29 AM
BA's thinking, throw 80 yards every play! Good luck Luck...

I think fire bush Dalton will have problems this year, Derrick Anderson for the Browns went to the Pro Bowl one year and the next teams figured him out and he stunk up the joint!

coldrolled
06-05-2012, 10:49 AM
Is Red Rifle like the Red Ryder BB Gun?

LatrobePA
06-05-2012, 11:04 AM
Is Red Rifle like the Red Ryder BB Gun?

He'll shoot his eye out!

coldrolled
06-07-2012, 12:04 PM
The Oakland Raiders will send next year's second-round draft pick to the Cincinnati Bengals to complete the Carson Palmer trade, an unnamed Raiders official told the Contra Costa Times (via ProFootballTalk.com) on Wednesday.

It was thought that the Raiders might have to ship a 2013 first-round pick to the Bengals if Oakland had reached the AFC Championship Game. The Raiders already sent this year's first-round pick to the Bengals for the veteran quarterback last October.

Palmer, 32, had 13 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions in 10 games for the Raiders last season.

The quarterback requested a trade after the 2010 season and said he'd rather retire than play again for the Bengals.

K Train
06-07-2012, 12:39 PM
Bruce Arians is exactly why I'm putting my money on Robert Griffin III being the better of the two QBs.

eh arians was a horrific game planner and a pretty bad play caller, but QB coach was never his issue...hes always been a good one of them in developing a QB

i actually think he'll do OK with the colts, they have much of the talent thats needed to run his offense, ben was never that kind of QB

BlitzburghRockCity
06-07-2012, 09:26 PM
I don't think any of us can gripe too much about Arians as a QB coach. Ben has turned out to be a pretty darn good QB and Arians was a big part of that. If he'd have just stayed a QB coach he'd probably be pretty highly sought after by more teams.

coldrolled
06-09-2012, 07:37 AM
The Ravens announced on Friday that they agreed to a two-year contract with former Cincinnati Bengals offensive guard Bobbie Williams.

Williams fractured his right ankle against the Houston Texans last season and ended the year on injured reserve.

Williams, 35, has started 130 career games. He is a potential replacement for Pro Bowl offensive guard Ben Grubbs, who signed a $36 million deal with the New Orleans Saints.

The newcomer will compete at left guard with rookie second-round pick Kelechi Osemele and former third-round pick Jah Reid.

coldrolled
06-12-2012, 08:04 AM
When Holmes was suspended, how long was it? Was he a felon?? Or just a toker..?

The Minnesota Vikings signed wide receiver Jerome Simpson with the knowledge that he was likely to be suspended to start the NFL season. On Monday, the team officially learned the long-expected news.

The league suspended Simpson three games and fined him an additional game check for violating the NFL's policy and program for substances of abuse, according to a news release. He recently received a 15-day jail sentence and three years of probation in connection to a felony drug charge after his girlfriend signed for a large package of marijuana at his house.

Simpson is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

coldrolled
06-14-2012, 08:20 PM
"He's as prepared to come in and start as any rookie I've seen in a long time," Holmgren said.

That wasn't all Holmgren shared during a wide-ranging, fluid chat with the media:

More on Weeden's progress: "He is gifted. There is a maturity level because of his age. He is a different rookie because of that," Holmgren said, but insisted that Weeden needed "to show us" he's ready to start. The team wants the quarterback derby wrapped up sooner than later: "We cannot go close to the first game and still have it going on," Holmgren said.

steelspikes
06-14-2012, 08:59 PM
"He's as prepared to come in and start as any rookie I've seen in a long time," Holmgren said.

That wasn't all Holmgren shared during a wide-ranging, fluid chat with the media:

More on Weeden's progress: "He is gifted. There is a maturity level because of his age. He is a different rookie because of that," Holmgren said, but insisted that Weeden needed "to show us" he's ready to start. The team wants the quarterback derby wrapped up sooner than later: "We cannot go close to the first game and still have it going on," Holmgren said.

Brownies are desperate for a big-time QB to compete with others in AFC North. Colt McCoy lacks size and strength to compete with other division QBs.

The Lakelander
06-15-2012, 07:29 AM
I don't think any of us can gripe too much about Arians as a QB coach. Ben has turned out to be a pretty darn good QB and Arians was a big part of that. If he'd have just stayed a QB coach he'd probably be pretty highly sought after by more teams.

It's not like he was out of a job for 3 months or anything ...

LatrobePA
06-15-2012, 12:13 PM
I love rookie QB's...

connecticutsteel
06-15-2012, 01:32 PM
The Ravens held there LT McKinnie out of mandatory mini-camp due to conditioning issues McKinnie is unhappy and feels that his roster spot is in jeapardy . I hope they think that Osomele can play LT that means flacco will be dead by week 3. Why would you give a player aroster bonus then tell him he too fat for training camp?

coldrolled
06-18-2012, 01:41 PM
Even after a Pro Bowl season, debate over Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton's arm strength, or lack thereof, has persisted this offseason. Dalton demonstrated the ability to air it out during the team's recent OTAs and minicamp, and his teammates have come to the defense of the "Red Rifle."

Dalton's coaches have never been concerned about his arm strength, but according to a Saturday report from The Sports Xchange, Dalton completed less than 40 percent of pass attempts outside the numbers last season with more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (four). To correct that, Bengals coaches are working on improving Dalton's technique and footwork this offseason.

One area the second-year quarterback has already shown improvement, however, is as a leader.

"I think I've done a better job this spring," said Dalton of taking charge of the offense. "If a guy runs a route a little differently, instead of letting a coach do it, I'm going to go over there and talk to him. Last year I was trying to get the next play or trying to do things like that and let the coach handle it (other issues). Right now, I feel like I can go over there and say something, because getting the next play is second nature."

We'll have to wait until September to see whether or not Dalton improves on those throws outside the numbers, but he'll have more credibility as a leader if he isn't skipping balls to his targets.

Real Deal Steel
06-19-2012, 09:44 AM
The best thing they can do for Dalton is to get that O-line as strong as possible and get that running game going. If the Bengals think their going to come out and start winging the ball all over the place then they are sadly mistaken because Dalton doesn't seen like that type of QB to me.

JensK
06-19-2012, 10:37 AM
I think its still too early to judge him. He might not be the most gifted QB out there, but he seems to want it more than most rookie QBs and often that will compensate for lack of talent. Jury is still out though. For the Bengals though, I really hope they don't jump to conclusions if Dalton has a worse year than that of his rookie year; you see it so often -- those young QBs have a great rookie season only to slow down a little in their second year.

coldrolled
06-21-2012, 10:27 AM
Browns are Strange...

Josh Cribbs got paid big bucks by the Cleveland Browns because of his special teams play. Despite career highs in receptions and receiving yards in 2011, look for Cribbs to focus on his returns again in 2012.

Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer recently passed along word that the Browns hope for Josh Cooper or Jordan Norwood can fill the third receiver spot behind Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi.

That would leave Cribbs in a No. 4 role, getting occasional snaps as a receiver and runner. The Browns want Cribbs to see "heavy duty" time on special teams.

This might not please Cribbs, but it makes sense for the Browns. Both Cribbs and Devin Hester in Chicago have tried to prove they are every-down receivers to middling results. The Bears are still working on their "Hester Package", but the Cribbs package should simply be on returns.

K Train
06-21-2012, 10:47 AM
i dont think cribbs or hester are good receivers to rely on, but as a 3/4 they are a nightmare mismatch. Bears for instance have Ashlon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall now, hester becomes a scary slot WR. Greg little is a special player, if he can take control of that #1 spot the browns offense could be pretty decent