- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
After signing his new $50 million contract, Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb hasn't been shy in voicing some lofty goals.
Last week, he told The Baltimore Sun that he wants a Hall of Fame career. This week, he told a local Baltimore radio station that he wants to be the top cornerback in the NFL.
"I pay my respect to the guys that have been there and done that, and I don’t try to jump the gun too quick," Webb said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I know about the Revises, the Nnamdis, the Charles Woodsons, the Champ Baileys, and I want to get there one day and I still have a lot of work to get there."
Webb added, "Trust me, I’m putting the work in to be there. I want to be the best cornerback in the NFL -- not Revis. I don’t want you to say Revis every time. No disrespect, I’ve seen the guy play ball and he’s great. He’s a great player, a great DB, but I want to be the guy.”
Hensley's slant: You have to play with confidence, especially at the cornerback position. Webb will have every chance to prove himself this season, too. He'll play against some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, from Peyton Manning to Tom Brady to Ben Roethlisberger to Philip Rivers to Eli Manning.
BENGALS: Outside linebacker Thomas Howard, who was a walk-on as a freshman at UTEP, is giving back. His foundation awarded partial scholarships to two walk-ons on the UTEP football team. "I'm not the first one. I won't be the last one," Howard told the Bengals' official website. "No one really honors the walk-ons. No one really knows the struggles except the few guys that have gone through it." Hensley's slant: Just like at UTEP, Howard earned his spot on the Bengals, solidifying his starting role after leading the team in tackles last season. The Bengals have been so impressed by Howard that they traded former first-round pick Keith Rivers to the New York Giants.
BROWNS: General manager Tom Heckert pledged his support to quarterback Colt McCoy at the team's pre-draft press conference. "We like Colt," Heckert said, via The Associated Press. "We think Colt can play. I know everybody talked about the Washington deal, but it's not like you're saying Colt's a bad quarterback by doing that." Hensley's slant: What the Browns said by pursuing Robert Griffin III is that McCoy is not the preferred quarterback. It also said Cleveland doesn't think he is a franchise quarterback. If the Browns believed McCoy was the long-term solution at quarterback, they wouldn't have aggressively tried to trade up for RG3.
STEELERS: Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe was among the last pre-draft visitors for the Steelers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Poe rose up draft boards after one of the most impressive workouts at the NFL combine in February. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds and recorded a combine-best 44 reps in the 225-pounds bench. Hensley's slant: Poe would be the heir apparent to longtime starting nose tackle Casey Hampton. But many believe Poe will be long gone before the Steelers pick at No. 24. The Chiefs, Cowboys, Eagles and Cardinals are all reportedly interested in him. The only chance Poe has of slipping to the bottom of the first round is if teams question his motor.