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Saturday, August 25, 2012
Saturday notes: Ex-Steelers coach shocked

By Jamison Hensley

Here's what is happening around the AFC North:

BENGALS: The Bengals announced some roster moves, none of which were surprising, and only need to make one more by Monday to get down to the NFL-mandated 75-player limit. The team placed five players on injured reserve: guard Travelle Wharton (knee), safety Robert Sands (chest), cornerbacks Brandon Ghee (wrist) and Shaun Prater (knee) and receiver-cornerback Taveon Rogers (shoulder). Cincinnati also waived running back Aaron Brown, guard Matt Murphy, quarterback Tyler Hansen and defensive end Luke Black.

BROWNS: Rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon had his best showing of the preseason, catching three passes for 50 yards. He had two catches for 38 yards in his first two preseason games. “I feel like I’ve come along in learning the offense,” Gordon said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I feel like I know what I’m doing and it’s like second nature. Now, I’m looking for the other things that applies to the wide receivers -- recognizing the coverages, down-and-distance and little details. That’s where my focus is right now."

RAVENS: One factor that could weigh into the Ravens' decision at kicker is money. Baltimore would create $1.8 million in salary-cap room by cutting Billy Cundiff and keeping undrafted rookie Justin Tucker, according to the Baltimore Sun. Cundiff is scheduled to make $2.2 million this season, and Tucker would earn the rookie minimum of $390,000.

STEELERS: Al Everest said getting fired as the team's special teams coach "was a shocker" but declined to reveal why the move was made a couple of weeks before the regular season began. “It was professional differences, and let’s leave it at that,” Everest told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Last season, all of the Steelers' special teams units (coverage and return teams) ranked in the top half of the NFL. Everest said the firing had nothing to do with the decision to take Pro Bowl returner Antonio Brown off special teams.