Thursday, May 9, 2013
Wake-up: Greene down on Steelers' attitude
By Jamison Hensley
There's three items about offensive linemen and one about someone who used to make life terrible for offensive linemen. Time to go into the trenches in today's edition of the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Gino Gradkowski, a fourth-round pick from a year ago, remains the frontrunner to replace Matt Birk as the team's starting center. Baltimore didn't sign a center in free agency and drafted Colorado State-Pueblo center Ryan Jensen in the sixth round. "He's definitely going to have every opportunity to be a starting center for us this year," assistant general manager Eric DeCosta told The Baltimore Sun. "He's going to have some competition. He's got the right mentality, the right makeup, the drive to be a good player. He comes from a football family. He's an important piece of the puzzle."
BENGALS: South Carolina center T.J. Johnson agreed to a four-year, $2.2 million contract, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Johnson, a seventh-round pick and the Bengals' final one of the 2013 draft, was the the first of the team's 10 draft picks to reach an agreement. With Kyle Cook and Trevor Robinson competing for the starting center job, Johnson is projected to land on the practice squad after the final major cutdown. He started a school-record 53 games at South Carolina.
STEELERS: Former Steelers great Joe Greene, who recently retired from a personnel position within the organization, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he doesn't like the attitude of the current players on the Steelers, from players taking contract disputes into the season to letting information inside the locker room become public. “The Steelers over the years have been able to keep everyone happy under the structure," Greene said. "There’s a different attitude with the players, maybe players we brought in, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s good." File this under another criticism toward the Steelers' self-described "fractured" locker room. It should be noted that Greene lives in the Dallas area when he wasn't on the road scouting for the Steelers, so he acknowledges that he doesn't have first-hand knowledge of the situation.
BROWNS: The Browns signed often injured offensive lineman Rashad Butler to a one-year contract. The former backup for the Texans spent all of last season on injured reserve with a triceps injury and played just two games in 2011 because of an elbow injury. Butler was drafted in the third round by the Panthers in 2006 but he lasted only one year with the team. The Browns needed to add depth at the tackle position. Cleveland's top backups are Oniel Cousins and Ryan Miller.