AFC North and NFL Roundup: Week Of June 4-8

We’ll round up the biggest stories from AFC North enemy territory each day. We’ll also bring you any NFL national news and updates on former Ravens, if there’s something to pass along.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Friday, June 8th, 2012 at 9:03 am | Categories: AFC North, AFC North Roundup

We’ll round up the biggest stories from AFC North enemy territory each day. We’ll also bring you any NFL national news and updates on former Ravens, if there’s something to pass along.

Friday, June 8

SteelersLeBeau: Steelers Defense Will Be Fine
Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau spoke with the media yesterday and reflected on the last time his defense was on the field, in a surprising playoff loss to Tim Tebow and the Broncos. LeBeau believes that this defense will be fine this year, despite losing some veterans in the offseason. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsBrowns Say They Aren’t For Sale
The Cleveland Browns are not for sale, a team spokesman said yesterday after a report that the team may be up for sale. Philadelphia radio reporter Howard Eskin said that the Browns and Rams may be up for sale, and told the Plain Dealer a trusted NFL source gave him the information. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsFormer Bengal Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison
Former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Nate Webster was sentenced to 12 years in prison for having sex with the underage teen daughter of a former assistant coach. The 34-year-old former linebacker last played in the NFL in 2008 for the Denver Broncos. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLSaints Make New Offer To Brees
The negotiations are continuing between Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, and the team has reportedly offered a new record-setting contract to the franchise quarterback. The financial details of the offer were not disclosed, and signing a contract does not appear to be imminent. []

Thursday, June 7

SteelersHaley Believes Roethlisberger, Offense Making Progress
New Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley talked with the media Wednesday for the first time since being hired in February, and said that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is working hard to pick up the playbook. “He’s learning, he’s concentrating and working hard on it, and he’s making progress,” Haley said. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsHardesty Confidence He’s As Good As Richardson
Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty says that he’s certain he’s every bit as good as this year’s first-round draft pick Trent Richardson. Hardesty, a former second-round pick, has been hindered by injuries his first two seasons and is now out to show he’s able to have success in the league. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsBengals Backs To Split Carries
The Cincinnati Bengals no longer have veteran Cedric Benson to carry the load at running back, and right now the plan appears to use a backfield-by-committee approach to replace him. Bernard Scott and BenJarvus Green-Ellis are expected to split the carries and have been doing that so far in OTAs. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLCoughlin Gets Two-Year Extension
New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin has been awarded a two-year extension after leading his team to a second Super Bowl during his tenure. The 65-year-old coach is now signed through the 2014 season. Overall, Coughlin is 82-57 with the Giants. []

Wednesday, June 6

SteelersLeftwich Aching To Play
Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Byron Leftwich is aching for an opportunity to get through a season healthy. He has been hindered with injuries the last two seasons, and is now competing with Charlie Batch and Troy Smith to make the roster this season. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsWeeden Looks Like No. 1 QB
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is showing all of the signs that he is capable of being the team’s starting quarterback when the season opens, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer. She says that Weeden has been “dazzling everyone in drills.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsKirkpatrick Improving During OTAs
Cincinnati Bengals top draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick has been improving during the organized team activities in recent weeks. Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer said he struggled at the start of rookie minicamp, but recently he has looked “more like I anticipated he would when we drafted him,” Zimmer said. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLSeattle Loses Workout Days For OTAs Violations
The NFL has punished the Seattle Seahawks for excessive offseason workouts, which the league says violated the collective bargaining agreement. The Seahawks reportedly violated the rules by having live contact during one of the team’s recent OTAs. Seattle will lose OTA practices for Wednesday and Thursday as punishment.  []

Tuesday, June 5

SteelersSteelers Have High Hopes For Young CBs
One of the intriguing storylines for the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason is the development of team’s young secondary, specifically cornerbacks Keenan Lewis, Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen. The three of them will compete for a starting job opposite Ike Taylor. []

BrownsFujita Remains Committed To Playing
Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita says he is 100 percent committed to playing in 2012, despite dealing with injuries in recent seasons and three-game suspension for his role in the Saints bounty scandal. Fujita is currently heading into his 11th NFL season. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsBengals Defensive Backs Get Extra Attention
Cincinnati Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer has been spending some extra time during the team’s OTAs to focus on the defensive backs. The group has a new position coach and the secondary is expected to have some of the toughest position battles throughout the offseason. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLRGIII Not Worried About Competition From Cousins
Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III says that he isn’t worried about competition for the starting job from fellow rookie Kirk Cousins. “It’s not a competition,” Griffin III said. “Let’s just go ahead and say that.” []

Monday, June 4

SteelersCotchery Takes On Leadership Role
With the retirement of Hines Ward, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery is now the oldest receiver on the roster and is taking on a leadership position with the team. The 29-year-old veteran is entering his second season with the Steelers after spending his first seven years with the Jets. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsBrown Takes Aim At Lener
Former Cleveland Browns great Jim Brown is taking aim at the team’s current owner Randy Lerner. In a recent interview, Brown said that he believes Lerner is “trying to turn all the power over to someone else.”  Brown also said that he considers first-round draft pick Trent Richardson a “good working back.” []

BengalsOTAs Lack Dram Of Previous Seasons
NFL teams are halfway through OTAs, and the Bengals have received good attendance from just about everyone on the roster. This offseason has been much different for the Bengals, who have not deal with any dram revolving around players like quarterback Carson Palmer or wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLBlackmon Arrested On DUI Charge
First-round draft pick Justin Blackmon was arrested over the weekend on charges an aggravated DUI charge. The Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .24, three times the legal limit. Blackmon was the fifth-overall pick in this year’s draft. []

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