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Thread: DeVille Does the Offseason

  1. #41

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    I would throw Nik Embernasty into the competition for back-up o-line.

    He's likely to make the final 53 IMO.

    Another AS masterpiece.

  2. #42

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    Don't overlook AFC North

    Mailbag: Ravens, Steelers, Bengals all had productive offseasons

    Originally Published: May 6, 2013
    By John Clayton |

    The Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals didn't draw the headlines for what they did during the offseason, but their work has been solid.

    First-round pick Matt Elam made a strong first impression at the Ravens' rookie minicamp.

    Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome faced the bigger challenge. Even though the Ravens won a Super Bowl, they recognized problems. Ray Lewis told them early enough last season that he was going to retire.

    That started the front office working. As they do every year, Newsome and his staff started planning for the the offseason by November. They recognized the aging problem at safety. They knew the team was declining as a run-stopping unit.

    Six defensive starters and pass-rushing specialist Paul Kruger were going to be potential targets for replacement. The Ravens also didn't know then if they had the cap room to retain wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

    Kruger became too expensive, and the Ravens accepted that. What they didn't know is that linebacker Dannell Ellerbe would become a $7 million player, but the Miami Dolphins made it impossible for the Ravens to re-sign him. They also couldn't afford cornerback Cary Williams and safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard.

    Newsome and company did an amazing job replacing lost parts. Defensive ends Chris Canty and Marcus Spears will help the run-stopping problems. They lucked into the signing of linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Michael Huff adds athleticism at safety. Rolando McClain was only a $700,000 gamble at linebacker, but the Ravens drafted linebacker Arthur Brown in the second round, too. The team also feels good about first-round pick Matt Elam at safety.

    "Matt really picked up things quickly. The same for Arthur Brown," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after rookie minicamp Sunday. "Matt really did a nice job of communicating in the back end, which is not usual for a rookie. Most rookie defensive backs, even all defensive players, have a tough time with the communication part of it because they aren't confident enough to make the calls. He's smart. He picked it up quickly."

    The Steelers held their rookie minicamp and liked what they saw of outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and halfback Le'Veon Bell. Third-round choice Markus Wheaton adds speed at wide receiver.

    The Pittsburgh front office felt as though the team's 8-8 last year was indicative of the talent. Now, the Steelers feel as though the offseason helped to reload them for a playoff run.

    As for the Bengals, who have their rookie minicamp next week, they concentrated on keeping their own. They re-signed 10 of their 19 unrestricted free agents. They had a nice draft. With back-to-back trips to the playoffs, the Bengals are ready to make the next step to see if they can win the division.



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