Thursday, March 18, 2010
How I See It: AFC North Stock Watch
By James Walker
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Baltimore Ravens defensive line: Two key free-agent losses in the past week have drastically hurt depth on Baltimore's defensive line. Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards signed deals recently with the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills, respectively. The two were key reserves in the rotation with Baltimore's stout unit. Without them, the Ravens are currently looking very thin behind starters Trevor Pryce, Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata. Look for Baltimore to replenish its depth via the NFL draft, where there are a lot of quality prospects on the defensive line who can fill the roles Bannan and Edwards left.
Pittsburgh Steelers special teams: Pittsburgh went on an unusual signing spree last week in free agency and most of it was aimed at improving special teams. The Steelers' return and coverage teams were below average last season, and it was an under-the-radar reason the team fell to 9-7. Enter receiver Arnaz Battle, safety Will Allen and receiver Antwaan Randle El. This trio should help Pittsburgh's special teams in 2010. Battle and Allen were solid in coverage and Randle El, a former Steeler, may help with punt returns. With a top-five defense and an explosive offense, improving special teams would patch one of Pittsburgh's few glaring weaknesses.