Thursday, July 18, 2013
Links: Steelers' Thomas prepared for fines
By ESPN.com staff
Tight end Dennis Pitta's game compares favorably to that of former Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin, writes Garrett Downing of BaltimoreRavens.com. Downing: "The ability to haul in passes with defenders draped over them is critical, as neither player is known for their breakaway speed. Like Boldin, Pitta exploits mismatches against linebackers and has a knack for finding the soft spot in the defense."
The Ravens were in the running for four ESPY awards Wedsnesday night, but they were shut out.
The Ravens' retooled defense reminds defensive assistant Steve Spagnuolo of the 2007 New York Giants defensive unit, The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson writes. "This is as good a looking football team that I've ever seen," Spagnuolo said. "I'm talking about physically and stout. I'm a firm believer, both sides of the football, that you win upfront. Defensively, wow."
Receiver A.J. Green doesn't think he's among the NFL's star attractions just yet. “One thing is I'm not a superstar,” Green said from his inaugural youth football camp via the Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner Jr. "I'm just a regular guy who plays football."
Unlike in years past, the Bengals need their rookies to be contributors, not franchise saviors, writes Josh Kirkendall of Cincy Jungle.
Carlos Dunlap has signed a long-term extension, which means the odds of Michael Johnson signing a new deal next season are diminished. Brett Witterstaetter of isportsweb.com considers whether this is a positive development for the Bengals.
Browns rookies are scheduled to report to Berea on Friday, but the team still has three unsigned draft choices: Barkevious Mingo (first round), Leon McFadden (third) and Armonty Bryant (seventh), reports Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. In Mingo's case, the hold up appears to be offset language in the contract.
Leroy Kelly comes in at No. 9 and Ozzie Newsome at No. 10 on The Plain Dealer's list of the top 100 Browns of all time.
"Following the free agent exodus of veterans Ben Watson and Alex Smith, the stage is set for [Jordan] Cameron, in his third season, to elevate to a starting, if not starring, role," writes ESPNCleveland.com's Tony Grossi in his training camp preview of tight ends.
Rookie safety Shamarko Thomas said the Steelers stress proper tackling form -- wrapping up, leading with the shoulder and not the head -- rather than going for a “blow up” hit, writes Tom Robinson of The Virginian-Pilot. "They’re afraid of the fines. I don’t want any fines, either," Thomas said. "I’m gonna get some fines, I’m not gonna lie. That’s just how I play. It’s football.”
In its annual preseason ranking of NFL teams for fantasy purposes, Yahoo! Sports has the Steelers at No. 23.
Emmanuel Sanders is No. 15 on NFL.com's list of players who could make the leap to take their game to the next level.