AFC North links: Suggs' ESPYS nomination

June, 28, 2012
6/28/12
10:45
AM ET
Baltimore Ravens

Linebacker Terrell Suggs has been nominated for an ESPYS Award for best NFL player. Other nominees for that award include Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Is Joe Flacco overrated? ESPN Insider KC Joyner thinks so. "Flacco put himself on this list by saying in an April radio interview that he thinks he is the best quarterback in the NFL," Joyner writes. "That he isn't the best field general in the league comes as no surprise, but Flacco's 2011 season doesn't even place him in the upper half of the league. His 9.6 vertical yards per attempt mark (VYPA -- which measures success on passes 11-plus yards downfield) ranked tied for 25th, and his 10.7 stretch vertical YPA (SVYPA -- passes over 20 yards downfield) ranked 26th."

Cincinnati Bengals

NFL rookies were exposed to "Six Degrees of Paul Brown" during their Pro Football Hall of Fame tour, writes Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.

Geno Atkins was one of the most productive pass-rushers in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Atkins "led defensive tackles after posting 80 combined sacks, hits, and hurries on 727 pass rushes," writes Khaled Elsayed.

Cleveland Browns

Despite a lack of any credible evidence proving linebacker Scott Fujita contributed money to a “pay-for-injury” program while with the Saints, commissioner Roger Goodell is not expected to reduce Fujita’s suspension, writes ESPNCleveland.com's Tony Grossi.

Indians closer Chris Perez has been known to speak his mind about Indians fans, but this time he set his sights on the city's football fans. “That’s what I don’t understand,” Perez recently said in a New York Times interview. “[Clevelanders'] whole thing is, ‘We want a winner.’ Well, why do you support the Browns? They don’t win. They’ve never won. They left. You guys blindly support them. I don’t understand it. It’s a double standard, and I don’t know why."

Strong safety T.J. Ward, who was hampered by injuries last season, said Browns fans had not seen his best football "by a long shot," reports Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Chris Rainey and Antonio Brown open up about their recent trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame with Steelers.com's Teresa Varley.

Behind The Steel Curtain's Neal Coolong looks at the upcoming training camp battle between running backs Baron Batch and Rainey.

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AFC NORTH SCOREBOARD