Saturday, May 12, 2012
AFC North rookie minicamp roundup
By Jamison Hensley
Here's the buzz surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens as they hold rookie minicamps this weekend:
BENGALS: First-round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick had an uneven start in his first minicamp. "[He] got challenged often as he was matched up against Vidal Hazelton and [Armon] Binns," the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy wrote. "Some times he did well and other times he struggled as the receivers got a step or two in coverage." Undrafted linebacker Vontaze Burfict had an uneventful first day, meanwhile. He told reporters that he is motivated to prove people wrong. "Not being picked, going undrafted, I have a big chip on my shoulder," Burfict said. "I’m ready to hit somebody.”
BROWNS: Much of the focus was on first-round quarterback Brandon Weeden. "He displayed an arm strength not seen around these parts since Derek Anderson, but the smooth touch on short passes that Anderson didn't possess," the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot wrote. The third overall pick, running back Trent Richardson also made an impression. He stiff-armed a defender and knocked him to the ground even though it was a non-contract practice.
RAVENS: Baltimore's rookie minicamp was closed to reporters. According to the team's website, which had access to practice, second-round linebacker Courtney Upshaw moved around at different positions and looked solid in pass coverage. The website reported: "He recognized a swing pass on one play, and would have had a tackle for loss, drawing praise from linebackers coach Ted Monachino. He also had a tipped pass that was picked off."