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Thursday, February 2, 2012
Wake-up call: Update on Steelers assistant

By Jamison Hensley

Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:

As running backs coach Kirby Wilson begins his road to recovery, the Steelers issued a release (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) on behalf of his family:

"Mr. Wilson remains in serious condition in the Trauma Burn Center at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh. His status is stable, and he has started his physical rehabilitation. The Wilson family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support."

Wilson suffered burns on 45 percent of his body after his house caught fire while he was sleeping on January 6.

Hensley's slant: It's unknown whether or not Wilson will return to coaching next season. There had been speculation that he would get the offensive coordinator position if a move was made with Bruce Arians. It made sense to give the job to the running backs coach if the Steelers wanted to go back to their run-first mentality on offense. Now, the Steelers are looking at alternative plans.

BENGALS: Head coach Marvin Lewis will put rookies as well as veterans in a downtown hotel this summer as training camp shifts from Georgetown College to Cincinnati. “I have no vets,” Lewis said, via the team's website. “The reason you stay in a hotel is to protect your players from other people. People that keep them up, or get them sick, or [they] get sick in the middle of the night.” Hensley's slant: This is a very sound decision. With all of the past problems, the Bengals players haven't earned the right to live at home during training camp. Lewis wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't keep a close eye on them.

BROWNS: Season ticket prices for all non-premium seats will either stay the same or be reduced from 2011, according to the team's website. The Browns have reduced 1,500 seats in the Dawg Pound from $45 per game to $32. “Over the past two seasons, I’ve had the opportunity to witness first-hand how all of our fans can create a home field advantage for our players," team president Mike Holmgren said. "Their enthusiasm is truly unmatched." Hensley's slant: The Ohio teams are doing it right. Just like the Bengals, the Browns are willing to work with fans in this economy. This is a good will gesture for fans who've had to endure 22 home losses in the past four seasons.

RAVENS: Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome showed support of often-criticized offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in yesterday's State of the Ravens press conference. Baltimore ranked 12th in points per game (23.6) and 15th in yards per game (338.7). “I always look at a body of work,” Newsome said. “Are we headed in the right direction with this offense? And Steve has some unbelievable numbers that he just showed me that prove that we are headed in the right direction. Are we satisfied with where we are right now? No, but we think the best way to get there is to maintain the continuity of having Cam and then to bring in someone like [quarterbacks coach] Jim Caldwell to be another set of eyes with that.” Hensley's slant: The only path the Ravens offense has been going is up and down. Look at the NFL rankings in four seasons with Cameron: 18th, 13th, 22nd and 15th. With Joe Flacco and Ray Rice entering their fifth seasons, there's no reason why the Ravens should rank outside of the top 10 in offense in 2012.