AFC North Blog
After signing DeAngelo Williams, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin asked him to show up to camp at 220 pounds or less. Williams hasn't been that slim in nearly a decade. It turns out this is not all that easy for the former long-time Panther. It turns out he has a bit of a sweet tooth and his pregnant girlfriend with a candy addiction doesn't make it any easier. "I have this thing where if (the nutritionist) doesn't text me right back, I kind of eat what I want to eat," Williams said. "So I'm at the (movie theater) counter and I'm like, 'man I want some popcorn; I wonder if I can eat some popcorn. I'm gonna hit him up real quick … No response … So I was like 'yeah let me get a large order of popcorn."-- When Williams and his girlfriend sat down with their bucket of popcorn, he received a text -- "Man, I really hope you didn't get that damn popcorn," it read, (with nutrition facts included in the message). "As I'm about to eat the kernel, I'm like 'yeah whatever.' And then I started looking at the nutrition facts, and I just put the kernel back in the box and just passed it to my girl."
Former Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham "is now the NFL's most sought-after available tight end" according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. He is yet to sign with a team after undergoing back surgery this offseason. There is already a contract on the table from the Saints and he's set to meet with the Cardinals this week. Gresham has a few other meetings planned over the next two weeks and is expected to sign a deal before camp opens up.
Free agent wideout Reggie Wayne recently made it clear that he intends to play this season. He also mentioned that teams have been calling. Today four teams were named as possible suitors for the 36-year-old receiver. The teams named were the Patriots, Ravens, Texans and Packers. There is no word yet on a favorite, however, it appears the teams have been narrowed down. Nonetheless, this does not guarantee Wayne will make a roster or even be offered a deal.
According to sources the Ravens are not interested in free agent wideout Reggie Wayne. This contradicts a recent report that they were one of four teams interested in the former Colts WR. Despite having next to nothing after 36-year-old Smith, the Ravens reportedly do not wish to add the veteran receiver. They could still add another wide receiver before the start of the season.
Of the four teams that were reportedly interested in Reggie Wayne two have now denied any interest. The Texans reportedly will not pursue the 36-year-old veteran. The Ravens also denied any intent to sign the former Colts wideout. It appears Wayne's options are becoming more limited by the hour. We will have to wait and see how this shakes out.
Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones was set to emerge as reliable fantasy option last season after catching 10 touchdowns in 2013. Unfortunately he missed the entire season due to ankle and foot injuries. The good news is Jones now says the injuries are no longer a factor moving forward. "We looked at it, got it fixed, and it's not there anymore," said Jones. "It was an unfortunate situation, but it's behind me … Once I'm out there and I know I'm good -- nothing structurally is wrong, nothing is going to happen – I just go out there and flow. It hasn't been a problem."
Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has suffered serious hip injuries in each of the past two seasons. He has been progressing but he is still expected to start the season on the PUP list and be forced to miss the first six games. Orthopedic surgeon and hip specialist Dr. Derek Ochiai made it clear that another similar hip injury would likely end Pitta's career and a re-injury is a possibility. "Unfortunately, there's a reasonable chance it could happen again to Dennis with another fracture-dislocation of the hip," said Ochiai. "It's not a given, but it's definitely possible. It's also possible it's a lightning-struck-twice kind of thing and it doesn't happen again. That's the best-case scenario. Once you have recurrences of an injury, statistically, it's more likely you will continue to have issues going forward. It's football, you're not playing chess. There's a lot of twisting and cutting regardless of actually getting tackled that can put a lot of stress on your hip joint. Unfortunately, Dennis Pitta's hip joint isn't normal. It can't be normal after a fracture-dislocation, but it can be repaired."
The reigning Fantasy Football MVP is facing a three-game suspension this season for marijuana and DUI charges. Bell has been waiting on an appeal hearing for quite some time now and has been left in the dark on the matter. Commissioner Roger Goodell claims to have no knowledge of an appeal and wouldn't have any information on it because it's not his appeal to handle. "That appeal is not heard by me, I would have to get somebody else to get a timeline on that," Goodell said.
Bengals rookie tight end C.J. Uzomah is a raw talent out of Auburn. He impressed at the Senior Bowl and was a somewhat surprising fifth-round pick in this year's draft. Especially since the Bengals have Tyler Eifert and had already drafted Tyler Kroft in the third round. Since rookie minicamp opened we have heard nothing but great things about the athletic young TE. That trend has continued on Twitter from Bengals beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. saying, "Really liked what I saw out of Uzomah. A project, yes. But he fits the mold of what you want athletically."
Browns converted wide receiver Terrelle Pryor has been spending this off period working out and training. He's been training at Randy Moss's football academy this past week with teammate Josh Gordon. Pryor was likely more concerned with learning how to play his new position more than staying in shape. Learning from one of the greatest wideouts of all-time could go a long way to help Pryor develop. It's also important to acknowledge that Gordon is still making an effort to work on his craft and stay in shape.