Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Wake-up call: Ravens to work out Steinbach
By Jamison Hensley
Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
The Ravens are scheduled to work out veteran guard Eric Steinbach on Tuesday, according to CBS Sports.
Steinbach was cut by the Browns on March 14 after he refused to take a pay cut. He has reportedly recovered from back problems that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season.
CBS Sports reports there are other AFC teams interested in Steinbach, 32, who was expected to be ready to work out for teams in mid-July.
Hensley's slant: The Ravens are taking an AFC North approach in solving their left guard spot. If Steinbach is signed, he would battle former Bengals guard Bobbie Williams for the starting job. Both are short-term solutions. This would allow rookie second-round pick Kelechi Osemele time to develop before getting pushed into the starting lineup.
BENGALS: In honor of former Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco officially changing his name back to Chad Johnson, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy gave his "8.5 moments" of the Ochocinco era. The top moment was Ochocinco's appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Hensley's slant: Yes, it's a slow news day for the Bengals when you have to rely on a former receiver changing his name as the news item. If I had to choose a favorite moment, it would be the time when Ochocinco honored the late Chris Henry, who was one of his best friends on the team. After a 49-yard touchdown catch, Ochocinco knelt down in the end zone and said a prayer.
BROWNS: Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, the last unsigned first-round pick in the AFC North, wants all four years of his rookie contract guaranteed, something that doesn't often happen with picks taken in the bottom third of the first round. "What I'm asking for is not too much. I think it's fair," Weeden told ESPN.com's Lynn Hoppes. "If they see me in their plans as the starting quarterback, it doesn't make sense why they wouldn't do it." Hensley's slant: Weeden might think his demand is "fair" but it's not realistic. Chandler Jones, who was selected one spot ahead of Weeden, had about half of his $1.5 million fourth-year salary guaranteed. David DeCastro, who was taken two spots after Weeden, only had the first three years of his contract fully guaranteed. I would be surprised to see the Browns guaranteeing all four years for Weeden even if it means getting him to training camp on time.
STEELERS: In breaking down the position battles for training camp, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review analyzed the competition between Chris Rainey and Baron Batch for one of the backup running back spots: "Rainey’s speed potentially adds a different dimension to Todd Haley’s offense, but Batch might have been the breakout player of the 2011 camp until he injured a knee." Hensley's slant: Rainey probably won't be in too many position battles because he won't have a specific position. He should be the Steelers' version of Dexter McCluster, who played under Todd Haley in Kansas City. Rainey will line up at running back and wide receiver for the Steelers, who should have specialized packages for him. I still consider Rainey among the biggest steals of the fifth round this year.