Friday, June 14, 2013
Wake-up: Big Ben has begun throwing
By Jamison Hensley
All of the mandatory minicamps for the AFC North teams are over. There was a fight over at the Ravens this week, a notable absence with the Bengals and an unexpected return for the Steelers at Wednesday's practice. But the best news for all of the teams is that no starter sustained a significant injury that will linger deep into training camp. Even offensive tackle Mike Adams, who was stabbed this month in an attempted carjacking, isn't expected to miss time. For more on where the teams stand, here's the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: First-round pick Matt Elam is picking up the defense fast and should challenge for a starting safety spot, as expected. “He’s tough, he’s fast, he gets football," secondary coach Teryl Austin told The Baltimore Sun, "and I think he is going to be a fine player for us soon.” ... Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained left knee), tight end Ed Dickson (strained groin), guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and nose tackle Terrence Cody (hip) didn't practice. Linebacker Arthur Brown (sports hernia) participated in team drills.
BENGALS: Coach Marvin Lewis was pleased with how his team has progressed this offseason. “I think we’ve improved mentally and physically," Lewis told The Cincinnati Enquirer as the team wrapped up mandatory minicamp. "We’ve improved with personnel and we’ve been fortunate not to have a longer-term injury. We’ve had some soft-tissue injuries and so forth, but not to have a longer-term injury so far is real fortunate.”
STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger was throwing at Wednesday's practice less than a week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee. Maybe no one should be surprised because Roethlisberger did say he would play this week if there was a game. “He was actually out at practice, throwing around to all of the receivers, being involved, giving plays to the quarterback," center Maurkice Pouncey told the NFL Network on Wednesday, via The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Everybody knows Ben. He plays through all types of different injuries.” ... The Steelers signed quarterback Landry Jones (fourth round) and became the first team in the division to reach agreements with their entire draft class.
BROWNS: A day after Vonta Leach's agent said the Browns had interest in the Pro Bowl fullback, two reports disputed it. According to The Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon Journal, Leach's agent talked to Browns general manager Mike Lombardi but no visit was scheduled. Leach, 31, would significantly upgrade the fullback position for the Browns, but as the Beacon Journal pointed out, it would go against the Browns' trend of signing free agents in their mid-to-late 20s.