AFC North Notes: Steelers, Bengals, Browns

The Steelers have a long history of developing wideouts, but heading into the 2018 campaign, they’re faced with a question mark in the slot, as Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune writes. While superstar Antonio Brown and 2017 second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster are locked in as Pittsburgh’s starters in two-receiver sets, but it’s unclear who will play in the middle of the field. The most obvious candidate might be rookie James Washington, but he’s viewed as more of an outside threat. Per Rutter, Washington and Smith-Schuster could be see time in the slot, but Marcus Tucker — who spent the 2017 season on the Steelers’ practice squad — may also see snaps. Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh’s main slot man in 2016, is still on the open market after suffering a torn ACL, but is expected to re-sign with the Steelers when he attains full health.

  • Former first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi has been a severe disappointment during the first three years of his career, but the Bengals offensive lineman is now feeling revived by a planned move from left to right tackle, according to Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer“Coming in at right, at a new position, I felt comfortable,” said Ogbuehi. “Feeling comfortable is a big part of it. I played it. I know what to expect now. I know a lot; like what to do better than last time. I’m excited for the challenge. I’m excited for camp.” Cincinnati doesn’t much invested in Ogbuehi’s future, as the club has already rejected his 2019 fifth-year option. Additionally, the Bengals acquired Cordy Glenn from the Bills during the offseason, and will now install the veteran on Andy Dalton‘s blindside. Still, the 26-year-old Ogbuehi could have one last chance as a starter on the right side while working under new offensive line coach Frank Pollack, all before hitting free agency next March.
  • In a roundtable featuring ESPN.com’s AFC North writers, Browns head coach Hue Jackson and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco are viewed as the division’s participants most on the proverbial hot seat. Jackson, of course, is not only fighting for his job after posting one win in two seasons, but he’s also dealing with a new general manager — John Dorsey — who will likely jump at the chance to hire his own head coach if Cleveland disappoints once again in 2018. Flacco, meanwhile, could see first-round rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson push for Baltimore’s starting job as soon as this season, especially if Flacco repeats his 2017 woes.
  • In case you missed it, PFR’s Zach Links outlined Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap‘s case for a contract extension, noting Cincinnati’s heavy investment along the edge position in recent drafts.
  • The Browns auditioned former CFL cornerback Jordan Holland on Tuesday.
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One comment on “AFC North Notes: Steelers, Bengals, Browns

  1. VampWeekAtBern

    Was there any benefit to the Bengals rejection Ohbuehi’s option this far in advance?

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