Wake-up: Dalton responds to Marvin Lewis


Hope everyone has come down from their Halloween sugar rush by now. There's a lot of chatter going on in the division these days. A quarterback has to respond to his coach's challenge. Another team has to address allegations of dirty play. And there are a couple of starters who are looking to bounce back from injuries. Just another typical day in the division. Hopefully the wake-up call will clear everything up ...

RAVENS: The Ravens refuted the Browns' accusations of dirty play. After the Ravens' 23-16 win on Sept. 27, safety Ray Ventrone alleged that the Ravens were participating in “extracurricular stuff," and cornerback Dimitri Patterson backed up his teammate’s claim. “I have no idea what they’re talking about,” Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher told The Baltimore Sun. “I think we’re just playing football. I think our offensive line, we’re focusing more on finishing plays. We’re trying to make holes for the running back and protect the quarterback.” The only time the Ravens were flagged for a personal foul resulted in offsetting penalties with the Browns.

STEELERS: Three days after suffering a concussion, safety Ryan Clark was a full participant in practice Wednesday but he will have to pass a final test Friday or Saturday to be cleared to play Sunday, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I feel good," Clark said. "I wasn't knocked out. I was never actually 'asleep' on the field. I venture to say I've been in that position before but [have] not been taken out of the game or not told anybody." Clark said it's his first concussion. If Clark is unable to play, Ryan Mundy would start in his place. Troy Polamalu (calf), the Steelers' other starting safety, has already been ruled out.

BENGALS: Quarterback Andy Dalton didn't take any offense to coach Marvin Lewis' challenge to him and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga to step up as leaders. "I don’t have any doubt that I've got everything that will please him in whatever was said," Dalton said, via the team's official website. "He's expecting a lot out of me and Rey and the leaders on this team. It wouldn't have been said if we weren't where we were. Maybe it’s the fire we need." Lewis pointed out that Dalton and Maualuga can't be nice guys all the time. Dalton smiled when asked if he can start being a jerk. "Maybe I should have staged a fight or something today. That would have been good," he said.

BROWNS: Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor said he expects to make his season debut Sunday against Ravens after being sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle. Taylor, who's wearing a harness over his left shoulder, indicated that he probably won't start. "They might roll me in just for this first game, so I can just get back in the swing of things," Taylor told the Akron Beacon Journal. "I’ve got to earn it. I haven’t played this year yet. What I did last year was last year. So I’ve gotta get in there this year and earn my spot.” Ahtyba Rubin (calf), the Browns' other starting defensive tackle, didn't practice Wednesday.