Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Wake-up: Bisciotti's expectations of Flacco
By Jamison Hensley
Baltimore Ravens receiver-returner Jacoby Jones did the Cha Cha Cha -- at least that's the wife told me -- on his "Dancing With The Stars" debut Monday night. There was also a quarterback shuffle, Matt Hasselbeck went to the Colts, Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Titans, and that left the Browns and Bengals without a veteran quarterback. Now, let's move onto the wake-up call ...
- Owner Steve Bisciotti told the team's official website that his expectations for quarterback Joe Flacco haven't changed since giving him the biggest contract in NFL history. "Your expectation is that he’s going to be a solid, top-10 quarterback and keep us where we want to be, and that’s with a chance to get hot," Bisciotti said.
- It appears that the Texans are willing to commit more money to safety Ed Reed, according to The Baltimore Sun. Although the Ravens would like Reed to return, the paper reported that the Ravens aren't willing to pay him $6 million per season.
- The Ravens are among four teams who are interested in Raiders free-agent safety Michael Huff, according to The Baltimore Sun. The Packers, Cowboys and Titans are also looking at Huff.
- Linebacker Rey Maualuga, who re-signed with the Bengals on Monday, told the team's official website that coaches informed him that he could stay at middle linebacker. There had been speculation that he would move to the outside and Vontaze Burfict would shift to the middle. "I would prefer to play MIKE (middle linebacker)," Maualuga said. "It just felt right and I think I know the defense in and out."
- The Bengals' priority remains to re-sign offensive tackle Andre Smith and cornerbacks Terence Newman and Adam Jones, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. Newman indicated he will have a deal done with the Bengals or Raiders by the end of the week.
- Jason Worilds is considered the heir apparent to James Harrison at right outside linebacker, coach Mike Tomlin told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I believe that Jason Worilds is chomping at the bit to prove he is capable of being that," Tomlin said. "We will see what Worilds is capable of doing." Tomlin then added with a laugh, "No pressure."
- The Steelers' cap constraints continue to limit the team's pursuit of free agents. "We desire to assemble the very best team we can assemble, but obviously we deal in a world of realism -- we have (constraints) from a salary-cap standpoint that could limit some of those thoughts,” Tomlin told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I'm not a big dreamer in that regard and (don't) spend a lot of time looking at things that aren't practical."
- Tight end Matt Spaeth returned to the Steelers after officially signing his two-year, $2 million contract. "I told some people I left here with tears rolling down my face and I returned with a big smile," Spaeth told the team's website. Since the late 1970s, Spaeth is the 10th player drafted by the Steelers to rejoin the team for a second time, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Browns' private workout with West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is simply an act of "due diligence," according to ESPN Radio in Cleveland. Chief executive officer Joe Banner reiterated Monday that the team isn't focused on taking a quarterback in the first round right now.
- The competition committee used video replays of Trent Richardson’s hit on Eagles safety Kurt Coleman to illustrate what it believes should be an illegal play during a presentation Monday at the owners meeting, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. The NFL is considering a rule change this week that would penalize runners for lowering their helmets into tacklers.
- Banner told The Plain Dealer that general manager Mike Lombardi is being shielded from the media spotlight because he's "a little bit of a lightning rod." Lombardi hasn't spoken to reporters since being promoted to GM on March 5.
- Recently signed defensive lineman Desmond Bryant is being sued for his criminal incident last month, according to The Plain Dealer.