- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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A lot of interesting topics to cover in the wake-up call. The running back in Baltimore is getting called out for talking too much and the running back in Cincinnati is getting put on notice for fumbling too much. If you're into some good chatter, check out the blog later this morning. NFC East blogger Dan Graziano and I talk about the upcoming Eagles-Steelers game in a post called "Double Coverage." Until then, let's talk about the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Ray Rice often leaves an impression on defenses with a big run or a touchdown. Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali, however, remembers Rice's big mouth. “I don’t remember a lot of running backs talking that much trash,” Hali told Baltimore reporters in a conference call, via The Baltimore Sun. “Usually, running backs are quiet and get their job done, but he’s one of those guys – he’s a mouthful. [San Diego Chargers quarterback] Philip Rivers talks a lot of trash. Maybe I would compare him to Philip Rivers.” Rice, who is known for being good-natured, said he got into it with one player with the Chiefs in a 2010 playoff game. “I usually don’t let anybody get to me, but that one guy was playing very dirty,” Rice said.
BENGALS: The Bengals aren't going to keep giving the ball to running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis if he continues to fumble. Green-Ellis has now put the ball on the ground three times in his past 28 touches after not fumbling in his first 589 touches in the NFL. “It’s very uncharacteristic of him. It’s not in his history. It’s not in his DNA. But sometimes they happen,” offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Obviously, we’re on him, he’s on himself and hopefully it doesn’t continue. It can’t continue because obviously he’s a feature back. It can’t continue or he won’t be a feature back.” Let's see if Green-Ellis' attempts drop with backup Bernard Scott returning after being inactive last week.
STEELERS: Rookie Chris Rainey, a fifth-round draft pick, was the most exciting Steelers player in the preseason, scoring on 41-yard run and a 57-yard catch (he also had touchdowns on two punt returns called back because of penalties). Rainey, though, has been quiet in three regular-season games. He's had 10 touches on offense (six runs, four receptions) and five total returns. Rainey told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he expected more action but said, “I’m a rookie, man, and that’s all it is. I’ve talked to guys that were rookies recently, and they just said, ‘You’ve got to be patient, man.’ It’s just like being a freshman [in college] again.”
BROWNS: Receiver-returner Josh Cribbs intends to suit up Sunday even though his wife and brother both want him to stop playing. According to The Plain Dealer, Cribbs' wife cried hysterically after he was knocked unconscious by a blow to the head last Thursday. "I feel great," said Cribbs, who was limited in practice. "I've had no symptoms and I'm ready to play [Sunday] against the Giants. I'm not scared of taking another hit." Cribbs, who suffered a concussion on the hit from Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, doesn't remember the collision. He's only watched it once on tape. The Browns may need Cribbs more this week because receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin missed practice with hamstring injuries.