Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
NFL analyst Warren Sapp recently said that the Steelers won’t make the playoffs this year and will be lucky to finish over .500 after the loss of key veterans like Hines Ward, James Farrior and Aaron Smith.
The Steelers provided their rebuttal on Tuesday. “He has other issues. I don’t even want to talk about his other issues,” cornerback Ike Taylor told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, referring to Sapp recently filing for bankruptcy. “Man, he is worrying about the wrong thing right now. People are coming knocking at his door.”
Inside linebacker Larry Foote recounted the time when a teammate grabbed Sapp by the throat after he crossed Pittsburgh's stretching line before a 2002 game. “He came out there hopping like a little girl,” Foote said, “and they snatched them up. If he disagreed with what I said, have him call in. I am sure we have footage.”
Hensley's slant: The Steelers should take Sapp's remarks in stride. He described the Steelers' defense as "old, slow and over" after Pittsburgh lost its season-opening game in Baltimore. The Steelers' defense eventually finished No. 1 in the NFL.
BENGALS: Rookie third-round pick Mohamed Sanu is emerging as a solid go-to receiver with each catch during voluntary workouts, according to the Bengals' official website. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said he doesn't know how much playing time Sanu will eventually receive but he acknowledged Sanu conducts himself much older than his age (he's 22). "He just has a natural instinct to be a big, friendly target; he knows what he has to do to get open," Gruden said. "A lot of guys when faced with a route adjustment round it off and it allows the route to get jumped for an interception. But he's got the ability to stick his foot in the ground, make the right shade or angle and get that 12-yard completion." Hensley's slant: The big question with the Bengals' offense is who'll win the No. 2 receiver job. Sanu has been getting a lot of buzz lately and has been compared to former Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. If he comes close to that level in his first season, Cincinnati's passing attack will be improved from a year ago.
BROWNS: I will be attending the second day of Browns' minicamp Wednesday. Click here for the posts from Tuesday's practice.
RAVENS: A bankruptcy court hearing in Atlanta for former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis has been pushed back to July 10. Lewis filed for bankruptcy in April, listing $14.5 million in assets and $10.6 million in debt. The 32-year-old retired in 2009 after nine seasons with the Ravens and Browns. His off-the-field investments have included trucking, hotels, theme parks and resort projects. Hensley's slant: It's hard to believe Lewis is broke only three years after retiring from football. But, as the Baltimore Sun points out, you get a better understanding why there is no money left when you see he claimed ownership of a 47-foot powerboat worth an estimated $200,000, a 2005 Ford F650 XUV ($150,000), a 2009 Mercedes CL63 ($80,950) and a 2008 Mercedes GL550 ($47,400). The gas alone to fill up these cars would bankrupt most people.