View Full Version : AFC North notes

06-17-2008, 12:54 AM
Steelers DLE Aaron Smith has been limited in practice this offseason after suffering a torn right biceps last December, but he has done some work on the side, including hitting the blocking sled, and what teammate Brett Keisel has seen has been encouraging. “He looks good to go, from my standpoint,” said Keisel, the Steelers’ other starting defensive end. “Aaron is a beast, and I took a lot of what I know from watching him for four years.”

The way we hear it, it would not at all be a surprise if Ravens LB Ray Lewis plays out his contract and tests free agency. The Ravens want to re-sign Lewis, 33, but the career Raven may want to gauge what his market value is.

A source close to the Ravens notes that the absence CB Samari Rolle from the team’s latest round of voluntary workouts is somewhat surprising, as Fabian Washington is going to have a shot to take his starting job.

While the Ravens’ ORT job is likely to remain Adam Terry’s come September, we’re hearing rookie Oneil Cousins might take over the position in 2009. Cousins’ feistiness has been apparent early in his pro career — he’s already been involved in two on-field skirmishes.

Word from Cleveland is that the Browns may eventually be in the market for a veteran backup tackle if Ryan Tucker’s recovery from a broken hip drags on throughout the summer. He suffered the non-displaced fracture in mid-May. Tucker’s ability to play guard and center is key to Cleveland’s O-line depth

06-17-2008, 09:34 AM
A couple of things on that..........

Funny how the Ravens measure a player's potential to become a starter by how many fights he has in camp. Not that I am against kids showing their toughness against the older guys, but I surely would not use that as a barometer as to when they could start.

As for Ray testing the FA waters, I think that his value is highest inside the Ravens locker room. He already owns that place. The bigger question is whether or not the team wants him to move on so that they can allow others to exercise more influence within. There have been stories in the past that Lewis and Reed are at the top inside. Maybe it is time for the team to allow Ed Reed and some younger players to lead the way.

If Lewis is going to leave the Ravens, I would think it is more likely that he would end up with a young, soft D, rather than a battle tested, tougher team. If I'm a GM, I only take this guy if I have a D that is desparate for leadership. Otherwise, I would not rock the boat if my hierarchy is already in place.

06-17-2008, 10:18 AM
It's funny that Ray Ray still thinks he is an elite player who will demand top dollar on the open market. He hasn't been close to the same guy without monsters like Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa doing the dirty work in front of him so that he can jump onto a pile unscathed and be credited for hundreds of tackles he never actually made.

Think about 33 year old James Farrior vs. 33 year old Ray Lewis. We are talking about maybe taking James back since he said he would be willing to accept a hometown discount after this season, while Ray wants to see if another team will break the bank in order to witness his spasmotic pregame dance routines. Farrior is a true leader in the locker room, while Lewis can be a divisive force at times. I submit that Farrior is a better LB than Lewis at this stage of their respective careers, and Lewis is delusional.

06-17-2008, 05:57 PM
RB, I'll hang with ya all day long on your Farrior v. Lewis comparison. Farrior has been something of a late bloomer in his NFL career and is arguably as disruptive a force for the Steelers as Lewis is for the RavenIdiots.

Baltimore would be silly to match any deal for RayRay. If he has more than two more productive years left in the NFL (this season included) then I'll be surprised.

The Steelers aren't exactly spring chickens at certain positions (LB, for example), but they are downright youthful compared to the RavenOldGeezers. They had a good draft this year, but could use two or three more to get the youth they'll need to stay out of the geriatric ward.