NFL Nation: Jeromy Miles

Let's continue the ranking of the Baltimore Ravens' 13 unrestricted free agents:


Position: Safety

The good: In his first season with the Ravens, Miles finished third on the Ravens with eight special teams tackles despite not playing in the first four games. He joined the Ravens after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. Miles had been one of the Bengals' top players on coverage teams, recording double-digit tackles on special teams in 2011 and 2012.

The bad: His biggest blunder came when we was flagged for being offside on a critical onside kick in Pittsburgh. He made the mistake even though he was running next to kicker Justin Tucker. Coach John Harbaugh called the error the "unforgivable part" of the play. Miles also has never developed as a safety.

The bottom line: The Ravens picked him up on waivers, which meant they paid him his restricted tender of $1.3 million last season. That tells me that the Ravens really wanted Miles to bolster their special teams. Miles isn't a priority in free agency, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ended back with the Ravens.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A day after Terrell Suggs declared the Baltimore Ravens are in a "state of emergency," coach John Harbaugh made it clear that he is in a state of unrest entering the bye.

The Ravens (3-4) have lost three of their past four games, and this marks the first time they've had a losing record this late in the season in Harbaugh's six seasons.


"We'll do whatever it takes," Harbaugh said in the aftermath of Sunday's 19-16 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers. "We'll trade guys, we'll cut guys, we'll sign guys, we'll coach guys, we'll change schemes. It doesn't matter."

This isn't a hollow message from Harbaugh, especially when you consider the Ravens' history. The Ravens traded offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie on Monday for a conditional late-round pick after they replaced him with Eugene Monroe. Baltimore also changed its scheme Sunday, going with three wide receivers in a spread formation.

Don't forget Harbaugh is the coach who fired his offensive coordinator in the final month of the regular season, so he isn't afraid to make changes.

Who could be the next player on the way out of Baltimore? I don't see any radical roster moves, but here are the top candidates to get released:

Safety Michael Huff. He played only five snaps (all special teams) and made the glaring mistake of losing outside containment on Emmanuel Sanders' 44-yard kickoff return, which jumpstarted the Steelers' game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. Huff ranks among the most disappointing offseason signings for the Ravens after getting benched as a starting safety in the season opener. He is making $2.35 million this season when including the signing bonus.

Safety Jeromy Miles. The former Cincinnati Bengal was flagged for being offside on the onside kick, even though he was running next to kicker Justin Tucker. Harbaugh called the error the "unforgivable part" of the play. The Ravens picked up his $1.3 million contract when they claimed him on waivers, meaning he makes $77,824 per game. That's a hefty price for a special teams player who makes such a critical mental miscue.

Safety Anthony Levine. I don't see the Ravens cutting Levine, because he has value as a special teams player. He led Baltimore with 20 special teams snaps on Sunday. But he did take the blame for the Ravens' second blocked punt.

The Ravens have options when it comes to special teams. They could bring back wide receiver LaQuan Williams or a running back like Anthony Allen. The Ravens reached an injury settlement with Williams and could re-sign him if he's fully recovered from a hamstring injury. Cornerback Asa Jackson, who is serving an eight-game suspension, will be reinstated after the Ravens' Nov. 3 game at Cleveland.

Bengals waive S Jeromy Miles again

September, 21, 2013
CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals waived safety Jeromy Miles yet again in another pregame roster move that drops the injured defensive back off the roster so a healthier player can be added for special-teams duty.

To correspond with Miles' release, the Bengals moved cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Lewis-Harris likely will fill the role linebacker J.K. Schaffer did last Monday, appearing primarily on special teams in Miles' absence. Miles currently is battling a hamstring injury.

Cincinnati waived Miles hours before Monday night's Week 2 game between the Bengals and Steelers and replaced his roster spot with Schaffer, a local product who participated in his first NFL game. After Miles cleared waivers two days later, the Bengals brought him back before effectively sending Schaffer back to the practice squad. With injuries throughout the secondary, the up-and-down roster moves involving Miles could become a trend until he and others get healthier.

Along with Miles, the Bengals likely will be without cornerbacks Brandon Ghee (concussion) and Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) when they host the Packers on Sunday. Neither practiced this week. Fellow cornerback Adam Jones (abdomen) finally practiced Thursday and Friday, but he was limited much of the week, too. He was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Bengals waive Miles, sign Schaffer

September, 16, 2013
CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals made a pair of corresponding roster moves Monday afternoon, several hours before they're set to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on "Monday Night Football."

The Bengals signed University of Cincinnati product J.K. Schaffer off the practice squad, adding the linebacker to the 53-man roster. The undrafted second-year player officially took a spot vacated by safety Jeromy Miles. A fourth-year player himself, Miles had been battling a hamstring injury and was limited in practices this week. He was listed as doubtful on Saturday's injury report and was waived by the team Monday.

Miles appeared in 39 games for the Bengals since 2010. His lone start in Cincinnati came last season. He had 12 total tackles and a pass deflection in his time with the Bengals.

Schaffer has not yet played in a regular-season game, but the local product became a fan favorite in the preseason. With appearances in all four games, he had a combined 20 tackles, recorded a sack and an interception.

The Bengals and Steelers meet at Paul Brown Stadium at 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN). Both enter the AFC North clash with 0-1 records.
NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

With the draft in the rearview mirror, what's the most pressing issue on each AFC North team's agenda?

BALTIMORE RAVENS: Determine if they have someone to replace Anquan Boldin at wide receiver. Torrey Smith is going to assume Boldin's role as the No. 1 receiver. The problem is finding out who is going to step into the No. 2 role. Baltimore didn't sign a wide receiver in free agency and didn't draft one until the seventh round. The Ravens do have options, although none of them are proven. Jacoby Jones could move into the starting lineup, but that reduces his role as a returner. The Ravens can turn to Tandon Doss, a 2011 fourth-round pick, and hope he improves from last season (seven catches on 18 targets). Another possibility is splitting out Dennis Pitta and using him more as a wideout than a tight end.

CINCINNATI BENGALS: Sort out who's going to start at strong safety. This was a question mark last year at this time, and the Bengals never came up with an answer. It really didn't hurt the Bengals too much because their defense ranked No. 6 overall and seventh against the pass. Cincinnati waited until the third round to address this spot this year, taking Georgia's Shawn Williams with the 84th overall pick. The Bengals passed on Florida International's John Cyprien in the first round and South Carolina's D.J. Swearinger in the second. If Williams isn't ready to start immediately, the Bengals will look to two players who failed to establish themselves a year ago in Taylor Mays and Jeromy Miles. And it seems like you can never rule out the return of Chris Crocker.

CLEVELAND BROWNS: Figure out if Leon McFadden or Buster Skrine will start at cornerback. The Browns put themselves in a predicament by not signing a veteran starter in free agency to replace Sheldon Brown, who wasn't re-signed. In the first round of the draft, Cleveland also decided to draft LSU pass-rusher Barkevious Mingo over Alabama's Dee Milliner, the top cornerback in the draft. Without a second-round pick, the Browns had to wait until the third round, where they selected San Diego State's McFadden. He's experienced (45 starts in college) and has good awareness. The knock on McFadden is his small frame and lack of height (5-foot-9). Skrine is also the same height, but he has much more speed. His biggest problem last season was committing nine penalties, which ranked third among cornerbacks. The Browns had better hope their improved pass rush gets to quarterbacks this year.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Make sure tight end Heath Miller is going to be ready for the regular season. Miller tore his anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 23, and the Steelers have been vague about his timetable to return. Some suggest the Steelers know Miller won't miss significant time because they didn't use any of their nine picks on a tight end. Pittsburgh needs Miller to be ready considering the rest of the depth chart. Matt Spaeth, David Paulson and David Johnson have combined for 74 career catches and nine touchdowns. Just last season alone, Miller caught 71 passes for eight touchdowns. There would be a major transition for the Steelers' passing game if Ben Roethlisberger doesn't have Miller in addition to wide receiver Mike Wallace, who signed with the Dolphins in free agency. Miller and Wallace accounted for 41 percent of Pittsburgh's receiving yards last season.
If the Bengals learned anything from their series of breakdowns in Thursday night's 27-13 preseason loss to Green Bay, it's that they have to step up their game in the red zone.

Cincinnati's defense failed to contain the quarterback again, allowing Aaron Rodgers to run for touchdowns of 12 and 5 yards in the first quarter. Defensive end Michael Johnson ran too far upfield to create a lane on the first touchdown, and defensive end Jamaal Anderson did the same thing on the second score.

The Bengals' starting offense struggled the entire game, especially when it had first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Instead of punching the ball into the end zone, Cincinnati lost 11 yards. Andy Dalton threw an incompletion on first down (no one was open), Cedric Peerman lost 2 yards on second down (center Kyle Cook was pushed back to throw off the play) and Dalton was sacked on third down when Erik Walden came unblocked from the left side. The Bengals were 26th in red zone offense last season.

The first-team offense managed a first down on five of seven drives. That came against a Green Bay defense that ranked last in the NFL last season.

"I don’t think this game defines how we’re going to be during the year. It’s a preseason game," Dalton said after the game. "We’ve got to find ways to get motivated and get going. This film will be good to look at and see areas where we need to improve.”

Here are some other observations from the Bengals' third preseason game:
  • Dalton never had a chance to settle into the pocket and had to hurry on nearly every throw. He finished 5-of-17 for 40 yards. On third down, Dalton was 3-of-5 for 20 yards and was sacked twice for minus-17 yards.
  • Bengals cornerback Leon Hall looked sloppy and had a drive to forget on the second Packers offensive series. He should've been called for pass interference when he knocked into Jordy Nelson before the ball got to the Packers receiver at the Cincinnati 2-yard line. Hall followed that up by allowing a 19-yard catch to Greg Jennings and missed a tackle after an 18-yard reception by Jennings.
  • Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green made no impact after a long touchdown grab a week ago. He caught one of six passes thrown his way, though he didn't have any drops. Dalton should've been picked off when he underthrew Green on a fade route to the end zone in the second quarter.
  • Jeromy Miles, one of the team's core special-teams players, is making a late push to be the starting strong safety. Competing against Taylor Mays for the spot, Miles broke up two passes from Rodgers including a fourth-down throw to Jennings. This solid effort comes after recording six tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in Atlanta last week.
  • Former Bengals running back Cedric Benson had a productive return to Paul Brown Stadium. He gained 38 yards on six carries (including an 11-yard run) and caught one pass for 10 yards.
As I noted in the AFC North Wake-up call, Andy Dalton delivered the play of the game in the Bengals' 24-19 preseason win at Atlanta, throwing a 50-yard touchdown to A.J. Green in the second quarter. While the focus will be on Dalton's arm strength -- which has been a sore spot for him this offseason -- it overshadowed another strong facet in Thursday night's game.

The Bengals, who ranked 18th on third-down efficiency last season, converted six of seven third downs with Dalton. He completed a 25-yard pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham on third-and-6 and connected with Donald Lee on a 22-yard pass on third-and-7. Then, on third-and-15, he hit Green for the long touchdown pass along the right sideline.

Here are some other thoughts on the Bengals' second preseason game:
  • It's safe to say Green shook off the rust in the preseason opener, when he dropped a pass in the end zone. He caught two passes for 59 yards in Atlanta, where he made the touchdown pass happen by losing cornerback Asante Samuel on a double move. That had to cause cornerbacks throughout the division to sweat a little.
  • The Bengals have to make sure their top two running backs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis (foot) and Bernard Scott (hand), are healthy for the regular season because both backups couldn't hold onto the ball. Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman each fumbled while trying to make moves in the open field. Green-Ellis, who has never fumbled in his NFL career, had to be shaking his head.
  • Did you see the Bengals' running game in Atlanta? Neither did the Bengals. Cincinnati's offensive line struggled to open holes, as the Bengals managed 11 rushing yards on 10 first-half carries.
  • Left tackle Andrew Whitworth might want to skip the film review because it wasn't pretty. He continually got beat by Falcons defensive end John Abraham, who spent most of his night in the Bengals' backfield.
  • It was a rough game for the Bengals' trio of cornerbacks: Terence Newman, Leon Hall and Nate Clements. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who completed 18 of 21 passes for 174 yards in less than two quarters of work, took turns picking on all three former first-round picks. The Bengals can commiserate with the Ravens, who couldn't stop Ryan last week.
  • Mohamed Sanu appears to be a long shot to win the Bengals' No. 2 wide receiver job now, but the rookie third-round pick made an impression with his 12-yard touchdown catch. Marvin Jones, another rookie receiver, continues to show flashes as well.
  • Jeromy Miles is making a strong push for the strong safety spot. He finished with six tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. Miles, who is competing against Taylor Mays for the starting job, picked off Chris Redman in the end zone.
  • Unlike the preseason opener, the Bengals caught a break in terms of injuries. Gresham, who left in the first quarter with a right knee injury, "should be fine," according to coach Marvin Lewis. Backup middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict sustained a concussion but he could return for the next preseason game.

What did we learn about Tim Tebow?

August, 16, 2010
CINCINNATI -- Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow made his highly anticipated NFL debut Sunday night in a 33-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Entering the game in the third quarter, the first-round pick produced a mixed bag. Tebow led the Broncos with 105 yards on 8-of-13 passing.

Here are five things we learned:

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
AP Photo/Ed ReinkeTim Tebow completed 8 of 13 passes for 105 yards and ran for a touchdown in his NFL debut, a 33-24 preseason loss at Cincinnati.
1. Tebow's mechanics must improve. Tebow spent countless hours with coaches this offseason working to improve his mechanics. But his throwing motion looked similar to what we saw in college at Florida. Tebow held the ball very low at times and he still has a long, winding delivery. Tebow had some success Sunday against Cincinnati's third-stringers, but he may have a difficult time against better competition without shortening his delivery.

"There are a lot of things I can get better at," Tebow said. "I really went out there and tried to compete. We did some pretty decent things, but we still have a long way to go. I have a long way to go."

2. The arm strength is there. Although his throwing motion isn't textbook, Tebow displayed NFL-caliber arm strength. He displayed good zip and velocity. Sometimes it was too fast, as Broncos receiver Matthew Willis dropped a potential third-down completion along the sideline. Tebow also made a couple throws that were nearly intercepted, but Bengals defenders couldn't handle his fastballs.

"He has a strong arm. It's a different technique, but he gets it there," said Jonathan Long, who was scouting Tebow and the Broncos for AFC West rival Oakland Raiders. "But arm strength doesn't mean much if you can't hit the wide receiver. You gotta have accuracy in this league ... and that's something he has to work on. But he can do it because he's got a great work ethic."

3. Tebow isn't used to the speed and feel of the NFL yet. Perhaps the most telling play of the night occurred in the fourth quarter when Bengals safety Jeromy Miles put a big hit on Tebow at the 34-yard line. Tebow held the ball too long, and despite being lefthanded, he failed to see or feel the safety blitz coming from his front side and paid for it. The initial ruling was a sack and fumble, but the call was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass.

"It felt great," said Miles, who was congratulated in the locker room by teammates for his big hit on Tebow. "I think he was just locked into his receivers. He probably saw something out there and just never really looked or seen me coming, and I just ran through him."

4. Tebow is resilient. Following the big hit by Miles, Tebow didn't get down on himself. Instead, he showed his toughness by coming back to lead a touchdown drive on the Broncos' next possession. With 1:09 remaining, Tebow led Denver 73 yards and finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. Tebow's biggest play on the drive was a 33-yard strike to his right to receiver Britt Davis.

"It shows resilience, and I like him for that," Bengals quarterback coach Ken Zampese said. "He's got toughness, and he’s got the leadership skills, and he sure showed me something tonight after he got hit."

5. The No. 2 quarterback job could be Tebow's for the taking. Backup quarterback Brady Quinn, also playing in his first game with Denver, struggled. Quinn completed 6 of 16 passes for 68 yards and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Tebow looked more sure of himself and the offense than Quinn, whose accuracy was off and was bothered by Cincinnati's pressure. If this trend continues, Tebow could move up the depth chart quickly and become backup to starter Kyle Orton. AFC West blogger Bill Williamson