Friday, March 19, 2010
AFC North mailbag
By James Walker
Let's see what's in our division inbox.
Eric from Mountain View, Calif., wants to know whether the Pittsburgh Steelers will join the "Wildcat crazy" this season.
James Walker: The Steelers have the personnel to run the Wildcat and other trick formations, Eric. But knowing Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, I have to put this into the believe-it-when-I-see-it category. The Wildcat just isn't something Arians believes in, so someone might have to really twist his arm to give it a look. But with Dennis Dixon and Antwaan Randle El both on the roster, I suppose you can't rule it out 100 percent.
Adam W. from Miami and John from NYC want to know whether the Cincinnati Bengals have "given up" on second-year tight end Chase Coffman.
Walker: Not at all, John. Usually teams allow at least two years for players to develop, depending on draft status. Coffman was hurt for most of last year so it turned out to be a redshirt season. But even if Coffman develops, the team is short on tight ends. Combine that with what Coffman showed in one season, and I think the Bengals would be smart to add some depth to the position.
Mike from Columbus, Ohio, writes: Does the acquisition of fullback Peyton Hillis mean the end for Lawrence Vickers in Cleveland?
Walker: It's a little early to tell for certain, but my initial thought is that's not the case, Mike. There is always room on a team for more than one fullback (unless you're the Steelers, who are allergic to fullbacks). Hillis reminds me of Brian Leonard, someone who can swing between fullback and tailback depending on the team's need on a given week. Vickers has a second-round tender. So unless the Browns are actively shopping him, a team probably won't make a play at that price.
Michael from Virginia wants to know my assessment of Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty and if he's an option for the Baltimore Ravens.
Walker: I can't say I watched a lot of Rutgers games last season, Michael. But I can say McCourty is a player whose name keeps coming up and is receiving a lot of interest around the league. The Browns reportedly took a look at him recently. He's probably more of a second rounder at this point, and Baltimore's had success in that round with Rutgers players before (see Ray Rice).