I'm about to begin my trip up to Latrobe, Pa., for the final stop of the AFC North training camp tour. There have been plenty of laughs along the way but no tears because there's no crying in football (unless you're Dick Vermeil). The plan is to still have our weekly chat at 2 p.m. as long as I'm settled in at St. Vincent College by that point. The Steelers practice in the afternoon, and I'm looking to put up some observations by the evening. My early-morning travel has forced me to turn in the abbreviated version of the wake-up call:
BENGALS: Left guard Travelle Wharton, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason opener, has no doubts that he'll be able to come back in 2013 even though he'll be 32 next season. “I’m just going to attack this surgery as if I was a 21-22-year-old,” Wharton told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I just want to be healthy and attack this thing going into this rehab and surgery with an open mind and get through it." Wharton's cap number in the second year of his three-year deal is $3.375 million.
BROWNS: Despite coach Pat Shurmur repeatedly saying Mohamed Massaquoi sustained a concussion in the preseason opener, the Cleveland wide receiver contends he never developed a symptom and was removed from the game as a precautionary measure. Shurmur was upset when Massaquoi first contradicted his assessment on Twitter over the weekend. "Tweeting is a new-age thing," Massaquoi told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Pat's a little older, so he doesn't really understand it. But we're gonna keep certain things in house as far as Twitter goes. We're not gonna give any game plans or anything like that or give too many updates which may hinder something that we're trying to do. But Twitter's fun. Hopefully. I can get Pat to get [an account]."
RAVENS: After allowing Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones to produce 109 yards receiving in one quarter in the preseason opener, the Ravens get Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in their next game Friday. “The biggest thing is you have to forget it and go on,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said, via the team's official website. “I wouldn’t say it’s all secondary. We need to put more pressure on the quarterback in those situations. It’s never one thing. You see a guy getting beat deep because that’s what you see.” Pees said he was optimistic that outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (shoulder) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (back) will play against Detroit.
STEELERS: There apparently won't be a Round 3 in the training-camp fight between wide receiver Antonio Brown and cornerback Ike Taylor. After their second skirmish of camp, Brown said he and Taylor went to breakfast on their day off and "ironed out our differences." The players never revealed what led to their on-field confrontations. "Can't say what stemmed from what," Brown told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's camp. We've been here for two weeks now. Guys are getting aggressive and competing against each other. What's important is we're on the same team, and we go to bat for each other. I root for him just as he roots for me on Sundays."