AFC North: Thaddues Gibson

Here are the most interesting stories Friday in the AFC North:

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed fourth-round draft pick Thaddeus Gibson to a three-year contract.
Morning take: The first AFC North rookie is officially in. Let's see if this starts a domino effect.

Morning take: It needs to if the Bengals want to take the next step. Late last season, the offense became too easy to defend.

Morning take: It ends a week earlier than expected, but who's counting?

Morning take: I don't want to overrate the first day of minicamp, but it did look pretty bad. Let's see if Cleveland's passing game performs better in Day 2.

Steelers minicamp notes

April, 30, 2010
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers, minus star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, began their mandatory veteran minicamp Friday.

Here are some notes and observations:

  • It's early, but it appears cornerback Bryant McFadden has the inside track to reclaim his starting job with the first-team defense. McFadden was the starter during Pittsburgh's Super Bowl run after the 2008 season and was plugged right in during the opening of minicamp. He returned to Pittsburgh via a draft-day trade with the Arizona Cardinals.

    "I'm just trying to get back adjusted," McFadden said. "A year removed seems a little longer than what it is. We got a couple of new wrinkles in [the defense]."
  • Pittsburgh starting outside linebacker James Harrison was an excused absence from the first day of minicamp Friday because of a family situation.
  • After leaving the team late last season, Steelers receiver Limas Sweed rejoined the group and said he was going through some personal issues with his family. Sweed appeared happy to be back on the practice field.

    "It feels good," Sweed said. "I feel like a kid again, playing the game I've been playing for a long time. It's good to be back and it's good to be around the guys."
Here are the most interesting stories Friday in the AFC North: Morning take: That rules out a Week 1 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. But Pittsburgh should have a chance to get off to a fast start.

  • With recent losses on the defensive line, second-year defensive end and linebacker hybrid Paul Kruger has to step up.
Morning take: The Ravens are counting on Kruger to make strides this season. Some players need a year or two to get acclimated to the NFL game.
Morning take: Bryant has some skills the Bengals need on offense. If Bryant stays healthy he can help.
Morning take: The Browns traded Kamerion Wimbley and need outside linebackers. It makes sense.