- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Sorry for the wake-up call getting posted a little late. There were technical difficulties on the site. Let's be honest here, we've all had Friday mornings when it's been tough to get things rolling. So, we can certainly relate. Now, here's the later-than-usual edition of wake-up call ...
BENGALS: Undrafted rookie Vontaze Burfict is now listed as the starting weakside linebacker for the Bengals. For Burfict, a middle linebacker in college, it’s not all about playing a different position. He’s using this increased playing time to show he’s a different person than the one who plummeted from being a first-round prospect in college. “What happened in the past happened in the past,” Burfict told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “For me, what people portrayed me as at the draft, I totally wasn’t that guy. It’s not like I could go and confront media people and say ‘You guys have got the wrong person.’ Whatever they put out there, they put out there. And whatever team got me, they will see the real Vontaze. I’m just totally the opposite of that.”
BROWNS: Wide receiver Greg Little usually gets beat up by reporters and fans for his dropped passes. This time, he’s getting criticized after a touchdown grab. Shortly after the Browns’ loss to the Bengals, Little posted pictures of him celebrating his touchdown on Twitter. Fans want players to feel the pain of losing like them and not putting up a photo of them posing like Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. "It's just a picture," Little told The Plain Dealer. "If I cared about every opinion I got on Twitter, I wouldn't be able to function.”
RAVENS: Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron defended his play calls in Sunday’s loss at Philadelphia. He’s taken some heat for throwing the ball on all five short-yardage situations in the second half. He also pointed out that the Ravens needed more than one yard on their final two plays even though the official stat book has it listed that way. "I really felt good about the calls that we made," Cameron said, via The Baltimore Sun. "If that was a legit third-and-1, we probably would have run the football or had the chance to. I like the idea of our quarterback having the ball in his hands, five potential receivers and the possibility of him to scramble and improvise versus running the football into two unblocked guys. That was the plan, we didn't execute it. I think that's probably the issue."
STEELERS: Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons is upset that he was fined $21,000 by the NFL for his hit on Mark Sanchez, which drew a roughing-the-passer penalty. “What can you do? I was just playing ball,” Timmons told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I lowered my target like you’re supposed to do. I can’t help it if he slides or falls. It’s a tough spot to be in.” The penalty and fine were legitimate because Timmons did launch himself. But, in the end, it was worth it for the Steelers. Before that penalty, Sanchez was 4 of 5 for 80 yards and a touchdown. After that penalty, he was 6 of 22 for 58 yards.