Wake-up: Tomlin says Big Ben 'on board'

December, 19, 2012
12/19/12
7:30
AM ET
It's Wednesday, which means check for the weekly column around noon and the chat at 2 p.m. But let's start the day like we do most around here with the wake-up call:

RAVENS: Coach John Harbaugh says the running game needs improvement, which is not really a secret. On Sunday, the Ravens ran for 41 yards on 14 carries before the game got out of hand against Denver. Ray Rice was limited to 38 yards on a 12 carries. "We need to run the ball better," Harbaugh said, via The Baltimore Sun. "We need to be able to run the ball against the front, any front, and that's something that we have to do a better job with."

BENGALS: The Bengals' red zone defense has stepped up recently. According to the team's official website, the Bengals have allowed just three touchdowns in the last 13 possessions inside their own 20-yard line. "Not that you want to give anything away but when you get in the red zone you already concede three points," safety Chris Crocker said. "That’s the mindset, 'all right, they’ve got three points. Let’s just not let them get six.' They’ve got three points, make them make the field goal and move on. If you have to kick field goals all day it’s going to be hard to win a football game."

STEELERS: Coach Mike Tomlin downplayed Ben Roethlisberger's remarks about the playcalling."That was a tough, hard-fought game, an emotional one, and when you come up short, there's frustrations associated with that, natural frustrations associated with that," Tomlin said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I met with Ben (Monday) and he's ready to move forward with this week and he's on board with what we're doing." Tomlin also said cornerback Ike Taylor will miss his third straight game while recovering from a fractured ankle. The team placed left guard Willie Colon, who had missed three of the past four games with a knee injury, on injured reserve.

BROWNS: The team placed safety T.J. Ward (bone bruise in his knee) and linebacker James-Michael Johnson (knee) on injured reserve. It's the second straight season that has ended on injured reserve for Ward, who ranks second on the team with 68 tackles and led the team with three forced fumbles. Johnson, a rookie fourth-round pick, started eight of the 10 games in which he was active. Also, Alec Scheiner was named the team's new president. He is the first hire by owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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