If you missed my observations from last night's preseason games, you can click here for the Browns-Lions and Ravens-Falcons. Both teams improved to 2-0, but the Browns and Ravens are feeling differently about their starting offenses right now. My one programming note is the Camp Confidential file on the Steelers will be posted in a few hours. Now, here's the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Cornerback Jimmy Smith is still struggling to prove he's a first-round pick, according to The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston. "He is too stiff at times and doesn't always get the proper bend in his knees," Preston wrote. "He doesn't anticipate well, and maybe that's because he looks unsure about the coverage he is supposed to be playing. He probably is suffering from a lack of confidence as well, because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got him last week, and Atlanta picked on him Thursday night. It is too early to suggest that Smith is a bust, because he deserves to play out this season, but there hasn't been a lot to build on."
BENGALS: Wide receiver A.J. Green participated in full-team drills a day after returning to the practice field. He expects the knee bruise to keep him out of Saturday's preseason game. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Green made an over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone, but he also dove for a pass, which is something coach Marvin Lewis and Bengals fans don't want to see right now. “I practice just like it’s going to be in the game. What I don’t do at practice is hard to do in the game,” Green said. “I just go out there, and I don’t care what it is, if I’ve got to dive I’m going to dive. If an injury’s going to occur it’s going to happen anyway. It’s the game of football.”
STEELERS: Running backs Le'Veon Bell and Isaac Redman, who are listed as co-starters on the depth chart, both didn't finish Thursday's practice because of injuries. Bell aggravated a left knee injury, and Redman suffered a stinger. Asked if he is concerned that Bell injured his knee a second time in 10 days, Tomlin said: "No." Tomlin then added, via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "He'll be evaluated shortly and we'll have more information regarding his status once we get that evaluation."
BROWNS: It's difficult for the Browns to feel good about a victory when first-round pick Barkevious Mingo landed in the hospital with a bruised lung, backup running back Dion Lewis suffered a potentially season-ending broken leg and guard Jason Pinkston walked out of the stadium on crutches with a sprained ankle. X-rays on Mingo's ribs were negative, but he was held for overnight observation. "Anytime you see one of your teammates go down, it's terrible to hear," defensive end Desmond Bryant told The Plain Dealer. "It sounds like an awful injury. I hope he's OK."