Friday, July 19, 2013
Links: Matt Elam, Ravens agree to terms
By ESPN.com staff
Who is the most important player for each team in the AFC North? It's the Ravens' Elvis Dumervil, Bengals' Andy Dalton, Browns' Joe Haden and Steelers' Troy Polamalu, writes NFL.com's Adam Schein.
The Ravens and first-round pick Matt Elam agreed in principle to a four-year contract which includes a fifth-year option, the team announced Thursday.
Jameel McClain's health could play a pivotal role in the competition at inside linebacker heading into training camp, writes Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com.
The Bengals need to find out during camp what they can expect this season from Dre Kirkpatrick, who was limited to just five games in 2012 because of injury, writes the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy.
Will returning to HBO's "Hard Knocks" be a distraction for the team during training camp? Reedy doesn't think so.
Although the offensive line is one of the few positions groups that can be considered better than average, "this will not be a dominant group until it proves it can meet the challenge of seizing a game in the fourth quarter and not letting it go," writes ESPNCleveland.com's Tony Grossi in a training camp preview of the offensive line.
Dick Schafrath comes in at No. 8 on The Plain Dealer's list of the top 100 Browns of all time.
Will better conditioning mean better health? "There is no doubt that the Browns’ overall physical conditioning is as good as it has ever been, and that Brad Roll, their new strength and conditioning coach, has made a noticeable impact in a relatively short time," writes Vic Carucci for the team's official website.
ESPN's Matt Williamson pegged Josh Gordon as a breakout candidate at wide receiver. "Gordon is a big, fast vertical receiver with an extra gear that is perfect for what the Browns now want him to do," Williamson writes.
After 37 years of coaching, special-teams coordinator Danny Smith is finally coaching for the Steelers, the organization he idolized as a youth, writes Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "But this opportunity [with the Steelers], I was hoping for it in my heart. Those things come if you keep working for it. When the opportunity came, I really wanted to do it. I feel very fortunate to do it," Smith said.
A judge ordered three men accused of stabbing of Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams to stand trial on charges of attempted homicide, conspiracy to steal a vehicle and other crimes, reports Liz Navratil of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Steelers brought in Brian Moorman as competition for incumbent punter Drew Butler, and he's been impressed with the organization, writes Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It's a great experience to come here and see how coach [Mike] Tomlin leads this team and what a great coach he is,” said Moorman, who has played on just one winning team in 12 NFL seasons.
What aspect of his game would cornerback Cortez Allen like to improve the most? "Staying healthy right now. Being able to finish a full season would be my goal. I think the most important thing is to stay healthy," Allen said in a fan Q&A session with Teresa Varley of Steelers.com.