North Notes: Steelers, Ravens, Packers, Bears

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin isn’t losing any sleep determining how to use all of his running backs. Le’Veon Bell had a terrific rookie season, and the team added free agent LeGarrette Blount and rookie Dri Archer this past offseason. Figuring out how to best utilize those backs is a tough task, so the coach is going to leave it up to the players. Tomlin told NFL Network’s Total Access hosts Lindsay Rhodes and Brian Baldinger that he’ll let the preseason determine his running back depth chart for next season.

Via’s Dan Hanzus

“I’m excited about letting these guys sort themselves out from a division of labor standpoint. I know that they’re all committed to being a significant component to what we do.”

Tomlin also gushed about his three options…

“Le’Veon Bell has had a great offseason. He’s really shown that he is excited about taking the next step in terms of work that he’s done thus far, particularly from a conditioning standpoint.

LeGarrette Blount has a definite football playing personality, one that not only is evident on the field but in the locker room. Think he’s going to be positive to our efforts.”

Tomlin added that Archer was a “speed guy” who would play both running back and wide receiver.

Let’s check out some more notes form the NFL’s North divisions…

  • Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has left Roc Nation and is planning on returning to Rosenhaus Sports for representation, reports Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo and Ross Jones (via Garafolo’s Twitter).
  • The Ravens defense has changed drastically since the team won the championship in 2013, writes Hanzus. The team dedicated their top-three picks to defenders in 2013 and 2014, with Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata remaining as the lone starters from their Super Bowl victory.
  • Following the departure of Evan Dietrich-Smith, the Packers will likely go with former fourth-round pick J.C. Tretter as their starting center, writes’s Rob Demovsky. The 23-year-old missed his entire rookie season with a broken ankle.
  • Bears rookie Brock Vereen has “virtually established himself as the player to beat” for the starting safety position, writes’s John Mullin. The writer labels the fourth-round pick as a “draft gem.”
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