AFC North Notes: Rice, Steelers, Hoyer

Ravens running back Ray Rice and his wife met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell today regarding Rice’s February domestic dispute, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post (via Twitter). Rice has tried to explain the incident, but it seems inevitable that the 27-year-old will face a suspension under the league’s personal conduct policy. Hubbuch tweets that he hears Rice’s punishment will be “significant,” and guesses the RB could be suspended for a period of four to six games.

  • Despite losing two of his top three receivers from last season, Ben Roethlisberger is excited about 2014, and thinks training camp will be an opportunity to grow with one the Steelers’ new additions. Lance [Moore], who is a pro, he’s a great professional — he’s going to be really good and I think we’re going to have a good connection — there were a few things that were just like a foot off [at OTAs],” Roethlisberger told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “A pass I threw a little bit outside, I thought he was going in[side]. Those little things we can work on and that’s what these camps are going to be about, getting on that same page these guys.”
  • The Ravens have experienced incredible stability at the holder and long snapper positions, with Sam Koch and Morgan Cox manning those roles for the past four seasons, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, and that reliability has been crucial for kicker Justin Tucker‘s development.
  • The opinion of a linebacker probably won’t factor in to Browns coach Mike Pettine’s decision on who to name as his starting quarterback, but Paul Kruger told 1320 KFAN he thinks Brian Hoyer should get the opportunity instead of Johnny Manziel (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “Me personally, I mean obviously that’s up to the staff and coaches so they’ll make that decision,” said Kruger. “But in my mind, [Brian] Hoyer’s the guy. Hoyer came in, won us four games, unfortunately got hurt. But the guy was on fire when he was healthy. He’s proven himself at different levels and has worked extremely hard.” (As Florio notes, Hoyer actually won only three games).
  • Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is pleased with the depth available on his defense, and the physicality the unit has been displaying in practice, and singled out three players for whom he has high hopes, writes Geoff Hobson of “They’re rounding into the vision we have for them,” said Lewis. “The guys have been here – a lot of them – and I think Darqueze [Dennard] has fit in well. I think [Marquis] Flowers is going to do a great job. We’ve got some guys we’ve brought in here as young guys who are really going to help us. Danieal Manning is getting some good snaps now. We’ve got some guys that are going to help us that way.”
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