Morning take: Ngata vs. Haynesworth
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North:
- Two of the best defensive tackles will meet Saturday when Haloti Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens shares the field with Albert Hanynesworth of the Tennessee Titans.
Morning take: Haynesworth right now is the gold standard for defensive tackles. But don't be surprised if the fast-rising Ngata is playing at a similar level in a year or two.
- San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson says he is doubtful to suit up in Sunday's playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Morning take: This is an advantage for Pittsburgh, which should still have an interesting challenge in Darren Sproles. But at least the Steelers know for sure who to prepare for.
- The Cleveland Browns formally hired Eric Mangini to be their fourth head coach in 10 years.
Morning take: Mangini is a tireless worker and a good hire, but something still feels odd with the Browns. More on that in the next blog post.
- Early indications are that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer (elbow) and rookie linebacker Keith Rivers (jaw, ankle) are on track to participate in the offseason workouts.
Morning take: If the Bengals are to build off their fast finish, the healthy return of these two will be key. Expect Palmer and Rivers, two USC Trojans, to be the team's cornerstones in 2009.