Monday, January 7, 2013
Wake-up: Browns walked away from Kelly?
By Jamison Hensley
Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for making sure the AFC North is represented in the divisional round for the fifth straight season. The last time there was no AFC North team in the AFC final four was the 2007 season.
I'm sure the other three teams in the division are getting sick of hearing about Ray Lewis, but I have some bad news. You'll be reading about the future Hall of Fame linebacker as long as the Ravens remain in the postseason. In case you missed it, here's my column on Lewis and my quick take on the Ravens-Broncos playoff game.
Now, here's your (Lewis-free) wake-up call ...
RAVENS: The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston says the Ravens finally got the right combination on the offensive line by starting Bryant McKinnie at left tackle, moving Michael Oher to right tackle and shifting Kelechi Osemele to left guard. "And this should be the starting lineup for the rest of the playoffs," Preston wrote. "There should be no more dog house or excuses or egos getting in the way. The group that started Sunday gives the Ravens their best chance of winning."
BENGALS: Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will be interview for the Arizona's head coach opening, the Cardinal confirmed. The Eagles also are expected to request permission from the Bengals on Monday to interview Gruden for their vacant head coaching job, league sources told ESPN over the weekend. Gruden is one of the up-and-coming coordinators in the league, but he didn't have a great showing with his game plan in Saturday's playoff loss at Houston. The Bengals managed 198 yards of total offense and two field goals.
STEELERS: Pittsburgh struggled to run the ball consistently this season despite Art Rooney's offseason mandate. The 1,537 yards rushing this season were the franchise's second-fewest in a full season since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978 and the fifth-worst the past 50 years, according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Jonathan Dwyer's 623 yards rushing were the lowest by the Steelers' rushing leader since Merril Hoge's 610 yards in 1991.
BROWNS: The Plain Dealer is reporting the Browns walked away from coach Chip Kelly on Sunday because they didn't feel that he was committed to leaving Oregon. Most of the reports dealing with Kelly have been off-target this weekend, so it's hard to believe any of them these days. If this report is true, this sounds like a case of the Browns saying no before Kelly had a chance to do so. The Browns obviously liked Kelly so much that they flew out to Arizona to be there to talk to him after the Fiesta Bowl and returned empty-handed. Time for Plan B. Or is it Plan C?