NFL Nation: Morning take
- The time for talk is over. The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens look to seize this opportunity to go to the Super Bowl.
- New Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin will have full control over his coaching staff.
- Former New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will take the same post with the St. Louis Rams.
- Buffalo Bills rookie cornerback Aaron Williams grows into his role on the defense.
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North:
- Recently fired head coach Mike Shanahan could have a suitor in the Cleveland Browns.
Morning take: For 14 seasons, Shanahan had complete control as coach and GM of the Denver Broncos. Would he want the same in Cleveland?
- After a three-game absence, Baltimore Ravens rookie tailback Ray Rice (calf) will return for Sunday's wild card game against the Miami Dolphins.
Morning take: This is good news for Baltimore. The Ravens have missed Rice's speed, quickness and ability to catch passes out of the backfield.
- New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award almost unanimously. But the only other player to get a DROY vote was Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers.
Morning take: Did someone accidentally check the wrong box? Rivers played seven games this season.
- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark (shoulder) is eyeing a return in the divisional round.
Morning take: With the daily monitoring of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (concussion), Clark has been a forgotten injury. But Clark is an important cog who could help the defense.