AFC North: Greg Olsen

Bengals searching for veteran TE?

April, 16, 2010
Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis held his pre-draft news conference Friday. Usually, not much comes from these gatherings, but Lewis offered at least one interesting nugget.

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer quotes Lewis saying the Bengals may add a veteran tight end before next week's NFL draft. Although Lewis didn't mention anyone by name, the first players that come to mind are Greg Olsen of the Chicago Bears and Tony Scheffler of the Denver Broncos. (Reedy agrees with Scheffler.)

There's been plenty of speculation involving both tight ends. Olsen has a new offensive coordinator in Mike Martz, who traditionally doesn't throw to the tight end, while Scheffler appears on the outs in Denver and signed his tender this week.

"I think some of it could be addressed prior to the draft, but I do feel we are where we are and we don't need to panic in any way," Lewis said of his tight ends Friday.

The Bengals also are looking at various tight ends in the NFL draft, including top prospects Jermaine Gresham and Aaron Hernandez. But the possibility of signing a proven commodity is certainly intriguing and could potentially erase one need from their draft board.

AFC North mailbag

February, 22, 2010
Let's answer some questions on the AFC North.

Justin Morgan from Toledo, Ohio, wants to know if the Cincinnati Bengals will really land free-agent receiver Terrell Owens.

James Walker: Justin, at this point it's just speculation. But this is one of the hardest rumors to track down. On one side you have receiver Chad Ochocinco, who plays for the Bengals, saying it's going to happen. On the other side, the Bengals are very silent about this because they are afraid to get fined for tampering while Owens is still under contract until March with the Buffalo Bills. So this is a rumor that likely will not be figured out until free agency starts.

Dave from Miami want to know if a trade involving Pittsburgh Steelers tailback Willie Parker and San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie is possible.

Walker: That's not going to happen for several reasons, Dave. First, Parker is an unrestricted free agent. The Steelers would have to place a tag on Parker to own the rights to trading him, and using any tag on Parker is not in Pittsburgh's plans. Second, if the Chargers are expected to get rid of LaDainian Tomlinson because he is aging and has durability concerns, why would they trade for Parker, who has some of the same issues?

Charlie from Chardon, OH, writes: James, I am graduating in May and still don't have a job. You think Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren will add me to his front office, too?

Walker: I sense sarcasm here. But entry level NFL jobs are not as glamorous as you think, Charlie. In fact, it's not glamorous at all. It's low paying, you work a million hours, and you mostly run errands for a couple years before doing the fun stuff. But if you still want to live off pizza and soda for next few years, I suggest you apply.

David from Milwaukee, Wisc. writes: Is there a chance the Bengals may come calling for Chicago Bears TE Greg Olsen? If the Bengals aren't willing to drop a draft pick or the bigger paycheck on Olsen, how would newly released Derek Fine look in stripes?

Walker: The Bengals are much more interested in drafting a tight end than trading for one. So don't expect Olsen to come to Cincinnati via trade. Fine was recently claimed on waivers by the St. Louis Rams. So he's off the board.

If you have any additional AFC North questions, feel free to send them to our AFC North inbox.
As the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to morph into a pass-first offense, one of the biggest beneficiaries this season has been starting tight end Heath Miller.

The five-year veteran has already set new career-highs for receptions (71) and yards (733) in a season. Pittsburgh (8-7) will finish its regular season Sunday against the Miami Dolphins (7-8).

Miller has also been one of the most dependable targets in the league, catching 71 of 91 passes (78 percent) thrown in his direction.

Here are the NFL's most-targeted tight ends heading into Week 17, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information: