Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Thursday, April 1, 2010
How I See It: AFC North Stock Watch

By James Walker

NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Falling

Pittsburgh Steelers' public image: No team is getting more negative press right now for off-the-field issues than the Steelers. What is making it even more stressful for Pittsburgh is this franchise is widely considered one of the most professional organizations in sports. But recent incidents involving a sexual assault allegation against quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and receiver Santonio Holmes' alleged confrontation with a woman in Florida have put the Steelers in a bad light. In fairness, no charges have been filed to date against Roethlisberger, and it appears Holmes' situation is being resolved quickly. But just having two star players place themselves in precarious situations hurts the public image of the team.

Rising

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco: While Roethlisberger is not attending offseason workouts in Pittsburgh, Flacco is working hard this offseason to take his game to the next level. He's developing chemistry in the offseason program with new receivers Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth. Flacco also took part in baseball training this offseason to strengthen his throwing arm and shoulders. The third-year quarterback, who already has won three career playoff games, hopes to make the jump from a good player to a great one in 2010. If work ethic has anything to do with it, Flacco should be well on his way.