AFC North: Keyaron Fox

Ben Roethlisberger not a captain

September, 6, 2010
9/06/10
10:45
AM ET
The Pittsburgh Steelers named four team captains Monday, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not one of them.

Roethlisberger, who is a two-time captain, did not make the cut following his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. He was voted an offensive captain by his teammates in 2008 and 2009.

Although it appears he's heading in the right direction, it's clear that Roethlisberger still has to gain back the trust of his team. He will not play until Oct. 17 against the Cleveland Browns.

Pittsburgh's captains for 2010 are receiver Hines Ward, tight end Heath Miller and linebackers James Farrior and Keyaron Fox.
Free-agent linebacker Larry Foote returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers by signing a three-year contract Monday. According to ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton, the deal is worth $9.3 million.

The Steelers now have good depth at middle linebacker with starters James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons to pair with veteran backups Foote and Keyaron Fox. Signing Foote also gives Pittsburgh the flexibility to move Timmons to outside linebacker, his natural position, in the event James Harrison or LaMarr Woodley get injured.

Last year, Foote wanted his release from Pittsburgh because of a reduced role that eventually led to putting Timmons in the starting lineup. After one season with the Detroit Lions, Foote learned the grass isn't always greener on the other side and returned to a team and a system he's most comfortable with.
Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Monday in the AFC North: Morning take: Quinn may not see action again until after the bye week. The Browns likely won’t admit it, but Quinn’s 70-percent playing time incentive has factored into that decision.
  • In a 45-10 victory over the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals tailback Cedric Benson got revenge to the tune of 189 rushing yards against his former team.
Morning take: Benson definitely had an extra pep in his step Sunday. He finished off every run against the Bears to make a statement.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers needed linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Keyaron Fox to score 14 points to take a 27-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Morning take: Sometimes when two very good teams play, it takes unexpected circumstances to determine the outcome. Two defensive touchdowns set the Steelers apart on this occasion.
  • Here is a look at the Baltimore Ravens’ schedule coming off the bye.
Morning take: The Ravens have to set the tone right away in a big game against the undefeated Denver Broncos (6-0). A win next Sunday for Baltimore (3-3) would provide a lot of momentum going into the second half of the season.

Big night for Fox

September, 10, 2009
9/10/09
8:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker


PITTSBURGH -- One of the interesting things to watch early in Thursday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans will be the performance of backup linebacker Keyaron Fox.
 Fox


Fox, 27, is replacing inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (ankle) in the starting lineup of a huge season opener for both teams.

This is the fifth career start for Fox and his first in Pittsburgh. He had a good preseason for the Steelers, but primarily a special-teams player, Fox will need to step up his game even further against the run-heavy Titans.

Pittsburgh released veteran linebacker Larry Foote this offseason to get Timmons into the starting lineup. But that also hurt Pittsburgh’s depth, leaving Fox with some big shoes to fill.

Morning take: Maualuga to start

September, 8, 2009
9/08/09
7:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker


Here are the most interesting stories Tuesday in the AFC North:
  • After a stellar preseason and training camp, Cincinnati Bengals rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga was promoted to starter for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.
Morning take: Maualuga’s aggressiveness stood out from the first day of training camp. His hard-hitting nature is a great fit for the AFC North.
  • With Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons’ status in question Thursday against the Tennessee Titans, backup Keyaron Fox says he’s ready to step in.
Morning take: The Steelers could really use Timmons’ athleticism. But Fox should be fine as long as he plays his role in the system.
  • Cleveland Browns receiver and return specialist Joshua Cribbs says he’s optimistic he will play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Morning take: But Cribbs didn’t guarantee he would play without a new contract. Would Cribbs really back out at the 11th hour if a deal isn't reached?
Morning take: This is one of the biggest Week 1 mismatches on paper. Quarterback Matt Cassel returned to practice this week and would at least give Kansas City a fighting chance.

Posted by ESPN.com staff

Baltimore Ravens

  • Veteran cornerback Samari Rolle signed a four-year deal with the Ravens nearly three weeks after he was released by the team, reports Baltimore Sun.
  • Murray takes a look back at quarterback Kyle Boller's star-crossed tenure with the team.
Cincinnati Bengals
  • Tight end Ben Utecht recently visited six different Cincinnati public schools to promote GEARUP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness in Undergraduate Programs) to fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders across the city, according to the team's Web site.
Cleveland Browns
  • Jay Cutler's agent, Bus Cook, denied a Chicago Sun-Times report that Cutler wouldn't want to play for Browns coach Eric Mangini, writes The Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot.
Pittsburgh Steelers

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