The Steelers are returning all of their offensive lineman, including Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey who was lost last season to a torn ACL. No one is more excited than Ben Roethlisberger, who believes that continuity on the offensive line could be the key to success, particularly in the no huddle offense, writes Kim Myers of NicePickCowher.com. “That’s a big part of being able to run the no-huddle because those guys are up there and they’re comfortable, they’re familiar. They’ve got another offseason in training of continuity and learning from each other,” said Roethlisberger. “I tell them before each game that they are what is going to drive this team and this offense. As long as they stay healthy and can play every game we’ll be good.” Here are some other notes from around the AFC North:
- Steelers‘ tight end Heath Miller bounced back well from a torn ACL in 2013, catching 58 passes for 593 yards and a touchdown, writes Matt Shetler of CityOfChampionsSports.com. However, he had posted career highs in yards and touchdowns the previous season, and is looking to re-establish himself as one of the league’s top tight ends. “Last year was about trying to find a new normal for myself and I’m a creature of habit, so that wasn’t easy for me,” said Miller. “I’m fully confident by the time the season rolls around I’m going to be feeling much better than the start of last year just from a confidence perspective.”
- The Bengals have a deep bench at the running back position, and it is unclear how many the team will keep on the 53-man roster, writes Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. Harvey says that both BenJarvus Green-Ellis and undrafted free agent Jeff Scott are on the bubble, with Giovani Bernard and second-round pick Jeremy Hill looking to take a bulk of the carries. However, Green-Ellis’ veteran presence and Scott’s versatility could keep them on the roster this season.
- The Browns still plan to let first-round pick Johnny Manziel start as a backup, and if veteran Brian Hoyer plays well the team could extend him, writes Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. With Manziel on his rookie contract for four years (with a fifth-year option), the team could afford to keep both players.