AFC North: Michael McAdoo

AFC North links: Marvin Lewis tees it up

May, 20, 2013
Baltimore Ravens

After an eventful offseason, the Ravens could be in store for more tough personnel decisions in 2014.

Linebacker Michael McAdoo says he has something prove this season.

Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis put his charitable side to work Sunday during his annual golf outing.

Cleveland Browns

Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton has enjoyed installing the team's new 3-4 defense. “It may not be hard, but it’s fun," Horton said. "It’s exciting. The guys are working very, very hard and that’s the most important thing -- that they are applying what they are learning. They are doing a great job. They are being diligent in the workouts, not only on the field but also in the classroom. It’s a totally different defense so there is a lot of adjustments -- terminology, drops, the way I call games, the way I ask them to learn the defense. Right now, I am just asking them to trust me and trust the defense and they are doing that. We are pleased with where we are at day three of OTAs.”

Pittsburgh Steelers

The desire to improve is what's driving the Steelers' offensive line this offseason.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette previews Tuesday's start of OTAs. Staying healthy is atop the priority list.

AFC North links: Bold move by Browns

July, 13, 2012
Baltimore Ravens

In a conversation with Matt Vensel of the Baltimore Sun, Aaron Schatz, the editor-in-chief of Football Outsiders, sticks up for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

Outside linebacker Michael McAdoo will miss his third consecutive season, but is focused on recovering and returning, writes Garrett Downing of the team's website.

Cincinnati Bengals

Former Bengal Terrell Owens continues to push for an NFL job as training camp approaches, writes Dan Hanzus of

Cleveland Browns

Browns GM Tom Heckert discusses the team's decision to use its second round pick in 2013 to select receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft, and Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal has the transcript.

Heckert is confident top 2012 picks Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden will sign in time for training camp, writes Ulrich.

Gordon says the Browns won't regret using a second-round pick to select him, writes Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Baylor coach Art Briles says Gordon would've been a first-round pick this year, and that he can start as a rookie, writes Cabot.

The Browns deserve credit for making a bold move to get Gordon, writes Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer.

Pittsburgh Steelers

With his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame just a few weeks away, former Steelers center Dermontti Dawson is among the latest former NFL players to file suit against the league for head injuries suffered while playing professional football, writes Dan Gigler of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Linebacker Larry Foote claims he is the victim of a scheme to defraud him out of more than $400,000.
The Cleveland Browns have a strange history with pectoral muscle injuries (D'Qwell Jackson and Phil Taylor), and the Baltimore Ravens' pass-rushers now have one of their own.

It was reported over the weekend that Michael McAdoo is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, the same injury that has sidelined Terrell Suggs. I considered McAdoo a dark-horse candidate to replace Suggs, but he was either going to be a backup or find his way to injured reserve this year.

This injury has the Ravens crossing their fingers that Paul Kruger can stay healthy (and keep his Achilles intact). Kruger is the one who has been running at Suggs' rush linebacker spot at offseason workouts. (Second-round draft pick Courtney Upshaw has taken Jarret Johnson's outside linebacker job.)

There's going to be a drop-off from Suggs to Kruger. Suggs had a career-high 14 sacks last season, which is 7.5 less than Kruger's career total. But Kruger is clearly the best option. Honestly, he's their only option.

If something were to happen to Kruger, the Ravens would really be hurting now that they're without Suggs and McAdoo. It's difficult to count on anything from Sergio Kindle, the team's top draft pick in 2010 who has played two games since fracturing his skull in an offseason accident. Kindle is still trying to overcome hearing loss in his left ear.

There's really no other outside linebackers on the Ravens' roster with any NFL experience, although Jameel McClain or Albert McClellan could shift out there in a pinch.

As far as McAdoo, he still can have a place on this team in the future. Despite missing his second season with an injury, he is the youngest player on the Ravens' roster at age 21 (he was born in July 1990).

AFC North links: Ravens lose McAdoo, too

June, 2, 2012
Baltimore Ravens
Linebacker Michael McAdoo, one of the candidates to fill in for the injured Terrell Suggs this season, will likely miss the season himself after suffering a torn Achilles tendon during organized team activities. McAdoo, who was entering his second season after spending his first on injured reserve, underwent surgery Friday, the Carroll County Times reports; Suggs partially tore an Achilles tendon during an April workout.

Cincinnati Bengals
Andrea Hangst pegs quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green as two of the four Bengals most likely to take a step backward in 2012.

Cleveland Browns
Not content to rip general manager Mike Holmgren and first-round draft pick Trent Richardson, former Browns star Jim Brown lit into team owner Randy Lerner during an interview with the NFL Network. "There's always a question mark when your owner is in England," Brown said.

Scott Fujita denied a charge from the filmmaker who leaked audiotape in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal that the linebacker knew about the bounty program and that he pushed for the release of the audiotape.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Hines Ward broke his silence in the wake of news Thursday that he'd signed on as an analyst with NBC. "I'm looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life and working on the other side of football," the retired receiver wrote.
It was difficult to get through the mailbag this weekend because there were so many sympathy emails for Terrell Suggs from Steelers fans. OK, so they weren't exactly expressing sympathy. Now, on to the mail ...

Chuck K. from Bison, S.D., writes: As a die-hard Browns fan, I've had my share of agony as with all Browns fans. Do you feel the Browns have turned the corner, and have set the foundation in this year's draft to compete?

Jamison Hensley from AFC headquarters: The Browns have significantly upgraded themselves at running back and right tackle in this draft. Trent Richardson is going to be very productive, and Mitchell Schwartz is a big step up from Tony Pashos. The key, however, is at quarterback. It always is in the NFL. Brandon Weeden is better than Colt McCoy. He is more accurate and has a stronger arm. But is he the franchise quarterback that the Browns have long sought after? Just look at the difference when a team hits and misses on a rookie quarterback. The Bengals went from a four-win team to a playoff one with the help of Andy Dalton. The Jaguars went from an eight-win team to a five-win one with Blaine Gabbert.

Bob R. from Brunswick, Ohio, writes: You guys all make the same mistake when it comes to the Steelers depth chart. Steve McLendon is the backup nose tackle. If Casey Hampton is not ready from the outset, McLendon will start. The Steelers are fairly high on him. Alameda Ta'amu will provide depth.

Hensley: You are certainly right that I haven't mentioned McLendon enough. After the Steelers drafted Ta'amu, defensive line coach John Mitchell made a point to express confidence in McLendon. "Everybody wants to discard McLendon, let me tell you this, hold your opinion until the season is over," Mitchell said. "I'm just saying keep your opinion until after the season, you make the decision." This insinuates that McLendon will have a bigger role this season. But Ta'amu is more likely the future of the position. The Steelers moved up in the fourth round to get Ta'amu for a reason.

John from New York writes: Any chance the Bengals are using one out of their stable of cornerbacks to broker a trade at another position of need (safety, for example)?

Hensley: It's true that the Bengals have more depth a cornerback than safety. They now have six corners who were originally drafted in the first round. It wouldn't surprise me if Jason Allen gets a look at safety. He has experience there and might find more playing time by moving. At this point, an unproven Taylor Mays is penciled in as the strong safety next to Reggie Nelson.

Eric from New York writes: This stat surprised me ... left guard Jason Pinkston: Allowed one sack in 16 starts as a rookie last season. That isn't bad for a fifth-round pick! Was he decent or was he pushed around a bit and just got lucky that the Browns had mobile quarterbacks? What can we expect from him next year?

Hensley: Pinkston was a pleasant surprise last season. It's tough to ask a fifth-round pick to step in as a starter immediately. In the AFC North, only Baltimore got as much out of a fifth-round pick last season with defensive end Pernell McPhee (six sacks). While it's impressive that Pinkston allowed only one sack, Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the league's worst offensive linemen. But it says something about the Browns' confidence in him when they part ways with Eric Steinbach. Cleveland seems committed to Pinkston.

Rusty from Wilmington, Ohio, writes: Now that the free agency and draft frenzy are over, as you look at the Bengals' roster, where do you still see holes?

Hensley: There's not many, which is good reason for optimism. The Bengals have upgraded themselves at so many positions from guard to running back to cornerback. I wouldn't say there are holes, but a couple areas of concern. Cincinnati lost two of its top three receivers in free agency (Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell) and added two receivers in the draft (Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones). The Bengals would have been served better to add an experienced No. 2 wide receiver to a young offense. The other position to watch is safety after the team cut Chris Crocker. Taylor Mays has potential, but there is a risk involved because he didn't play many defensive snaps last season.

Josh from Wayne, N.J., writes: What's the word on Michael McAdoo in Baltimore? It seemed obvious that they put him on IR last year to avoid having to put him through waivers for the practice squad. So there must be something they like in him. Any idea if he has a chance to contribute this year?

Hensley: His chances of contributing this season increased when Terrell Suggs injured his Achilles. You're right that last season tipped off the Ravens' interest in McAdoo. After he went undrafted in the supplemental draft, the Ravens did more than sign him. General manager Ozzie Newsome had an agreement with McAdoo to keep him on the season-opening roster before placing him on injured reserve. That was a way of redshirting the raw pass-rusher because the Ravens didn't want to risk losing him by trying to sneak him on the practice squad. McAdoo, who showed flashes in last year's preseason finale (a sack and a forced fumble), needs to bulk up to get on the field this year. The 6-foot-7 McAdoo was listed at 245 pounds at the end of last season.

The Ravens likely won't have linebacker Terrell Suggs for the 2012 season after the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year tore his Achilles' tendon, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. One source told Schefter that Suggs suffered the injury playing basketball, but another source wasn't positive that Suggs tore his Achilles tendon that way. Another source told Schefter that Suggs thinks he could be back in October.

However long Suggs is out, it will be a challenge for the Ravens to replace him. He's the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He's been to five Pro Bowls. He's the franchise's leader in sacks (82.5).

While the initial reaction is to say the Ravens' first-round draft pick, Alabama's Courtney Upshaw, will step into Suggs' spot, he is the replacement for Jarret Johnson. Upshaw is expected to set the edge against the run.

Here are the top candidates to take over for Suggs:

Paul Kruger: He's been looking for a spot in the starting lineup since he was selected in the second round in 2009. Kruger stepped up in the pass rush last season with a career-high 5.5 sacks. At this point, he would be the leading candidate because of his experience.

Sergio Kindle: The Ravens had high expectations for Kindle when they made him their top pick in the 2010 draft. But he fractured his skull after falling down two flights of stairs before his rookie training camp and he's only played two games since. Teams officials have said it's their "mission" to get Kindle on the field in what will be his first full offseason in the NFL.

Michael McAdoo: He is a raw yet intriguing prospect from North Carolina who was ruled ineligible in 2010 for academic fraud. The Ravens signed him to a deal in August 2011 and kept him on injured reserve as a redshirt season. At 6-foot-7, 245 pounds, he is an athletic and rangy pass-rusher who projects to be a 3-4 outside linebacker. His challenge will be to bulk up.

Morning take: Are Browns sleepers?

August, 23, 2011
Here are the most interesting stories Tuesday in the AFC North: Morning take: I'm not overrating the preseason. The Browns are playing solid in exhibition games. But they are still at least two years away from being playoff contenders.
  • With the Cincinnati Bengals struggling this preseason, the Carson Palmer question still lingers.
Morning take: Palmer is not returning. I think the best he can hope for is Cincinnati is willing to trade the franchise quarterback next season.
Morning take: Essex knows the system and has some versatility. But he's more of a backup than a starter.
Morning take: The Ravens need pass-rushers, and there is no risk in signing McAdoo. The Ravens can release him in the coming weeks if he doesn't show anything.