Here's what is happening this week: the Cleveland Browns hold their mandatory minicamp, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals wrap up their voluntary workouts and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens visit the White House to meet President Barack Obama. I will be attending one of them, if I pass the security clearance. Now, please let me see some IDs before we proceed to the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw said he's up to 285 pounds, which is 13 more pounds than his listed playing weight. Upshaw explained why he hasn't been able to train regularly at Ravens headquarters this season. "My offseason has been kind of hectic," Upshaw told The Baltimore Sun. "I had a personal issue where I had to handle that. Right now, I’m trying to get back into football shape. I was back and forth between Alabama and Baltimore, just real personal issues that I had to handle. Just trying to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season." This isn't the first time that weight has been a problem for Upshaw, who failed a conditioning test before his first training camp.
BENGALS: According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, one of the biggest contributions made by first-year defensive assistant Adam Zimmer, the son of coordinator Mike Zimmer, was putting together a PowerPoint presentation before the start of offseason workouts on the coverages for each Bengals defensive back. It showed how they lined up and what they should be doing. “I didn’t want to be that guy that was just there because my dad was there," Adam Zimmer said. "I’ve been on staffs where that was the case, and they had no credentials to be a coach, but they followed their dad around from here to here to here. I didn’t want to be one of those guys. I kind of wanted to learn how to do things my way and not just the way he does it. Kind of get my own personality as a coach before I got on the same staff with him.”
STEELERS: The Steelers want the Ziggy Hood who made 24 tackles over a five-game span in December and not the defensive lineman who recorded four one-tackle games and was held without a tackle against the Titans despite playing 62 snaps. The emphasis is on improving Hood's technique. “You are always going to have things to work on; I am not going to deny that,” Hood told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Last year was a good step for me. It wasn't the season that I would say was the best, but the positives outweighed the negatives.” Hood, a first-round pick in 2009, is in the final year of his contract.
BROWNS: Being a more hands-on owner was one reason why the Browns fan base was excited that Jimmy Haslam taking over for Randy Lerner. The Plain Dealer's Bud Shaw believes everyone should be skeptical of that after Haslam contends he didn't know about the rebate fraud at his family-run Pilot Flying J, where he is CEO. "All that 'due diligence' Haslam mentioned in building an organization -- from the hiring of Joe Banner, to the head coaching search, to the hiring of Mike Lombardi as GM -- all that is tossed under the microscope for closer review now that Haslam claims ignorance about his own company's dealings," Shaw wrote.