Thursday, April 18, 2013
Wake-up: Richardson says he's 100 percent
By Jamison Hensley
Happy Schedule Day! Wait, does that need an exclamation point or not? Well, you know what it means. This is the day when the league announces its 17-week schedule and fans can jot it down in their fall calendars. Just a reminder that the AFC North blog will have reaction blogs after the schedules are made official at 8 p.m. tonight. As you count down the hours, here's your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston doesn't believe Kelechi Osemele is ready to be a left tackle. "Osemele, who started at right tackle and left guard last season, could be a left tackle down the road, but he has to improve his foot speed during this offseason," Preston wrote. "He struggled with speed rushers on the outside as a right tackle and it would be worse for him on the left side if there isn't significant improvement." Ravens officials said Tuesday that Osemele would get a chance to start at left tackle if the team lined up today.
BENGALS: The NFL Network is reporting that the Bengals' talks with free-agent linebacker James Harrison have broken off. According to the report, the Bengals remain interested in linebacker Karlos Dansby, who visited Cincinnati last week. But talks between the Bengals and Dansby have apparently not heated up yet. I plan to address this situation later Thursday. With Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict set as starters, the Bengals have one spot open at outside linebacker.
STEELERS: In case you missed it from last night, restricted free-agent nose tackle Steve McLendon visited the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. You can click here to read my blog post on the situation. It is unknown whether the Packers have signed McLendon to an offer sheet. The deadline to sign restricted free agents is Friday. The Steelers gave the low $1.3 million tender to McLendon, which means Pittsburgh gets no compensation if it declines to match an offer sheet for the five-year veteran linemen. McLendon, 27, had been projected to start at nose tackle this season and replace Casey Hampton, who hasn't been re-signed.
BROWNS: Running back Trent Richardson declared himself 100 percent after playing for most of his rookie season with two broken ribs. Richardson only missed one game last year and that was because of a sprained left ankle in the season finale. "I’m out there flying around," Richardson told ESPN Radio in Cleveland after the second day of voluntary minicamp. "I finally feel skinny. I don’t have that big (protective) pad on me. It’s way easier to breathe. I can sleep at night. I feel better than ever.”