The rookies and quarterbacks have reported to training camps for the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. The first full-team practices don't start until Thursday for those teams. The Cincinnati Bengals take the field Friday, and the Pittsburgh Steelers start practice Saturday. As for now, here's your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Apparently, the cha-cha is not part of coach John Harbaugh's conditioning test. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones was placed on the non-football injury list after failing the timed running drill for training camp, according to The Baltimore Sun. Jones finished third on "Dancing With The Stars" this year, but he only missed one week of offseason workouts because of the ABC television series. He can take the conditioning tests again Tuesday and Wednesday if he wants to suit up for the first full-team practice.
BENGALS: George Iloka, a fifth-round pick from a year ago, isn't just looking to make the team. He has a shot to start at strong safety opposite Reggie Nelson. "Everything has slowed down," Iloka told the Bengals' official website. "Everything last year was so fast. I didn't pick it up as quickly as I needed to, but everything has slowed down now and that's what you want. Once you get in the league, it's how fast you can play; if you can process things mentally. You can be a 4.3 guy, but if you're moving at 5 flat, you're going to be slow."
STEELERS: Le'Veon Bell is looking to become the second Steelers rookie to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. The only time it has happened was 41 years ago, when Franco Harris did it. Bell wants to be prepared for a starting job and has been studying the Steelers playbook. “Guys here are just smarter, and the game is played a lot faster,” Bell told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Technique is another big thing at this level. It may not be as big in college, but here everybody's just about at the same level athletically. Your separation from somebody comes with technique, and that's what I'm trying to do.”
BROWNS: In his first public comments since being suspended for two games, wide receiver Josh Gordon insisted that he didn't use the codeine recreationally and indicated that he's staying clean. Gordon previously released a statement in which he explained the failed test came from unintentionally ingesting codeine that was contained in cough syrup prescribed to him for strep throat in February. He was surprised by the failed test. "The fact that it happened, it was beyond me,'' Gordon said, via The Plain Dealer. "It's one of those things you just really can't control. It was just part of the consequences that came with it and I have to deal with it. I plan to move forward from this point on and I look forward to this upcoming season."