Wake-up: Upshaw losing weight, not money

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
8:00
AM ET
It's Wednesday and you know what that means: It's time to get some feedback from you. The weekly AFC North poll will get posted later today and we'll sit down for our usual midweek chat at 2 p.m. Speaking of our routine, it's time for your wake-up call, which deals with three rookies and a departing executive:

RAVENS: After getting fined nearly $20,000 this season for weighing more than 270 pounds, rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw has shed weight via diet and exercise to get down to 266 to 268 pounds, according to The Baltimore Sun. Upshaw told the paper that he hasn't been fined since Week 5 of the season, which was just earlier this month. "I didn't even look at the fines," Upshaw said. "I just knew they were taking my money. That started getting me down." Upshaw, who has started seven games this year, is trying to avoid becoming the latest second-round disappointment on the defensive side of the ball. Sergio Kindle, who is on the practice squad, and Terrence Cody, who lost his starting job, were drafted in the second round in 2010.

STEELERS: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette brings up the possibility that rookie second-round pick Mike Adams could remain the starting right tackle even when Marcus Gilbert recovers from an ankle injury. Adams has performed well in seven quarters since replacing Gilbert and drew rare praise from coach Mike Tomlin, who usually doesn't give out such compliments to rookies. "We're optimistic about his talent level and what he's capable of being," Tomlin said. "He didn't do anything to hurt that assessment. I think he's continuing to be a guy on the rise. I think his performance was a solid one. I thought he was good in the run game. I thought he was good on the second level, some combination blocks, and I thought he represented himself well in pass pro[tection]. It's a nice next step for him."

BENGALS: With the Bengals short on wide receivers (Armon Binns has an ankle injury and Marvin Jones is out with a knee injury), rookie Mohamed Sanu will see increased playing time at the No. 2 spot. He recorded his first career catch Sunday night, which interestingly enough came a month after he completed his first pass. “The thing I've always said about Mo is he's a gamer,” wide receiver coach James Urban told CBS Sports. “I thought that coming out of college. The more football the kid plays, I'm talking about game football on Sundays, the more you'll like him.” Sanu's size and strength compliments Andrew Hawkins, the Bengals' slot receiver.

BROWNS: The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto believes Mike Holmgren was never comfortable in his undefined role as team president. "So this franchise with its amazingly loyal and beat-down fan base continues to wait for someone to give them a real reason to believe in a winning future for the orange helmets," Pluto wrote. "It's now in the hands of (Jimmy) Haslam (a rookie owner who oozes passion and love for his adopted city) and Joe Banner (an experienced football CEO). It's a promising combination. Now, maybe, just maybe, things will change ... and change for the better. If nothing else, Browns fans can always hope so."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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