I check out Ravens training camp over the weekend, and the Steelers get into fisticuffs. I then attend Steelers camp, and the Ravens have their first brawl of the summer. I'm starting to think I have to start my own fight at Latrobe today if I'm going to witness one this year. When asked about the recent confrontations at Steelers camp, defensive end Brett Keisel said, "I haven't been to a camp in all my 11 years where there hasn't been fighting." Thanks for rubbing it in. Now on to the wake-up call:
BENGALS: Thursday night's preseason game marks the first time defensive end Jamaal Anderson will play in the Georgia Dome since he was released by the Falcons, who drafted him in the first round in 2007. That was the year when Anderson's defensive coordinator in Atlanta was Mike Zimmer, who is his current coordinator in Cincinnati. “That was probably one of the biggest things he instilled in a lot of defensive ends, was getting after that run and being tough-nosed, and then once you stop that run you can get after the passer,” Anderson told the Cincinnati Enquirer. Anderson is starting in place of the injured Carlos Dunlap.
BROWNS: Rookie right tackle Mitchell Schwartz struggled in his first game, getting flagged for a false start before allowing a sack that led to Brandon Weeden's fumble. The second-round pick will play at least the entire first half and perhaps some of the third quarter along with the rest of the starters on Thursday night at Green Bay. “I expect myself to progress,” Schwartz told the Akron Beacon Journal. “I was happy to get back out here on the field [for practice] to try to work on some of the things I didn’t do as well. It really kind of irritates me when I don’t do something right, and I just want to get it corrected. I don’t want to keep making that same mistake over and over. So I expect to be better this game. I expect to do the technical things better and have more success.”
RAVENS: Not to be upstaged by their division rivals, the Ravens engaged in a brawl of their own. According to CBS Sports, defensive end Arthur Jones, whose brother is UFC champion Jon "Bones" Jones, pinned Gino Gradkowski and threw as many punches as he could into the chest of the rookie center. While that fight was going on, offensive tackle Jah Reid wound up at the bottom of a pile and took several punches from safety Bernard Pollard and other defensive backs. "What are you going to do? Start throwing bodies around," coach John Harbaugh said. "It was a spirited fight."
STEELERS: Many expected a training camp battle between Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward for the starting job at left defensive end. That hasn't materialized through three weeks of camp, where Heyward has backed up Brett Keisel at right end. "I wasn't even thinking in that regard," Heyward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I can't look at it as a numbers game or where I am on the depth chart. My main thing is I have to worry about doing my technique right. Hopefully, the coaches have confidence in me to go out there." Of the Steelers' 10 first-round picks from 2003 to 2012, Heyward is one of three who isn't scheduled to start for Pittsburgh in Week 1 (Santonio Holmes and Rashard Mendenhall are the others).