Saturday, August 18, 2012
Saturday links: Steelers GM on Mendenhall
By Jamison Hensley
Here's what is happening around the AFC North:
BENGALS: Slot receiver Jordan Shipley was released two years after leading AFC rookies in receiving yards. He continually had trouble separating from defensive backs, a result from last year's knee surgery. “He still has a little bit of a lingering effect in his mind, but I think that will be eliminated shortly," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It’s just that right now we feel good about where we are at wide receiver.” Andrew Hawkins has taken control of the slot receiver position.
BROWNS: Injuries have made it a problem for quarterback Brandon Weeden to develop chemistry with his targets. In Thursday's preseason game, the Browns were without starting receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (concussion), rookie receiver Travis Benjamin (undisclosed), starting tight end Ben Watson (undisclosed) and second-team tight end Jordan Cameron (bone bruise in back). "That's the one challenging thing," Weeden told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Being a rookie, I'm still learning the guys as well as they're learning me. There's a lot of guys cycling through — and I think that's good for us (in preseason). But once you get to the regular season, you want to be throwing to the same guys all of the time."
RAVENS: Bryant McKinnie worked at left tackle with the second-team offense for the second straight preseason game. McKinnie lost his starting job when he failed to report to training camp on time because he said he fell at his South Florida home. The Ravens haven't given him a timetable on when he could rejoin the starters. “I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do," McKinnie told the Baltimore Sun. “It just takes time. There’s no rush. They’re just letting me go out here and do my plays, and actually, I’m getting more reps and making up for the time I was gone. So I don’t have any problem with that.”
STEELERS: Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said last week that he expected running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Then, on Friday, Pittsburgh removed its leading rusher from PUP. What changed? "The trainers felt that he had progressed as far as he could in doing what they were doing," Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "and the kid felt confident that he was ready to take the next step. Now, the next step is being able to practice, and where that leads to nobody knows at this point."