- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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No talk about throwback jerseys or Joe Flacco today, I promise. Well, at least I don't plan to write about either topic today. But there will be blog posts addressing some issues with the Ravens and Steelers later on. So stay tuned. First, you need your wake-up call:
RAVENS: Baltimore has had preliminary talks with offensive tackle Michael Oher about a contract extension, according to The Baltimore Sun. Oher, a first-round pick in 2009, is signed through 2013. "I love it here," Oher told the paper. "It's a great organization, great city. I would love to finish out here. That's up to the organization. Without a doubt, my ears are open." This isn't a surprise because the Ravens have a history of re-signing their top draft picks over the years. While his biggest strength has been his versatility, Oher is clearly better on the right side. It remains to be seen whether he'll want to be paid like a left tackle.
STEELERS: Pittsburgh was missing all three of its top running backs for the first practice of the week. Jonathan Dwyer, who ran for 122 yards Sunday, was absent for a personal matter but should return Thursday. Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle) were sidelined last game after not practicing all week. It doesn't look like the Steelers will have Redman, who told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he sprained his right ankle and still isn't over his left high ankle sprain. "We'll be in the playoffs," Redman told the paper. "We have a long way to go, and I hate to keep setting myself back." Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey returned to practice after missing the past seven quarters with a right knee injury.
BENGALS: Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton said his 10 interceptions, which are tied for the league lead, are "unacceptable" but he doesn't see a common thread with them. While Dalton's quick release is perhaps his biggest strength, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden recently said that he wants Dalton to wait a little longer to see the play develop and the passing windows widen. "There's times I wish I would have held on to it for a half second longer, but it's a big part of my game is getting the ball out quick, getting the ball to our guys," Dalton said, via the team's official website. "So, it's finding the balance of when you can hold on to it for a little bit longer and when you let it go. Sometimes I feel like I should slow down a little bit and let things happen."
BROWNS: Head coach Pat Shurmur said he'll evaluate Trent Richardson in practice before allowing the rookie running back to play. Richardson missed the entire second half Sunday with a rib injury that he sustained the previous game. The first-round pick insisted that he's feeling better already. “Last week, [the injury] was still fresh," Richardson said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. "You know it’s making progress, and I can really tell the big difference from this week to last week. From what they tell me, it’s no concern in me making the injury worse at all. They felt around on it today, and they said it’s getting back solid again and it’s feeling pretty good. It’s getting better day by day.”