Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
Ben Roethlisberger will travel to Europe in June, but the Steelers' starting quarterback is looking at it as a working vacation.
Roethlisberger told Yahoo! Sports that playing golf in Ireland and Scotland -- a scheduled 12 courses in 10 days -- will get his mindset right for the upcoming football season.
“Golf is such a mental challenge, and as frustrating as it can be sometimes, it can definitely make you stronger,” Roethlisberger said. “Playing some great courses in a setting like Ireland and Scotland will be pretty awesome, but it is also a great way to keep your mind sharp. You really have to think your way around and get the grips with the course and the difficulties it offers you. I am a pretty cerebral guy, so it is perfect to have that kind of activity in the offseason that keeps your brain ticking.”
Hensley's slant: No one can argue that Roethlisberger is tough and strong-willed. But he will take some shots for calling himself "a pretty cerebral guy." Hey, if Joe Flacco thinks he is better than Peyton Manning, then Roethlisberger can think he's a cerebral quarterback like Manning.
BENGALS: The team released safety Chris Crocker because of durability concerns. The Bengals, however, will miss his ability to quarterback the secondary, according to cornerback Leon Hall. "The big thing that Crock gave us was being able to get people lined up because he knew the defense inside and out," Hall told the team's official website. "We're going to need the young guys to step it up mentally. We're all going to have to do that because Crock was so good at making the adjustments." Hensley's slant: The Bengals will likely be more athletic at safety without Crocker, but they won't get the same experienced voice from the current candidates to replace him. Taylor Mays, Jeromy Miles and Robert Sands have a combined six NFL starts.
BROWNS: Someone posing as Alabama running back Trent Richardson has been using Twitter recently to make it seem as if the draft prospect was interested in getting drafted by the Browns, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Several Cleveland media outlets, including the Beacon Journal, had been reporting the tweets as if they were actually coming from Richardson. The account (trentrich03), which has more than 16,000 followers, is not real, according to Josh Maxson, an associate communications director for the University of Alabama's athletic department. Hensley's slant: This is just the latest example of social media gone wrong. Perhaps someone should have been tipped off when the imposter Richardson tweeted, "Love the brownie mascot. Bring back the elf." I still think the Browns will take Richardson with the fourth overall pick, so maybe we'll hear his real feelings about the elf soon.
RAVENS: Baltimore was among four teams who sent offensive line coaches to watch center Peter Konz's workout at Wisconsin last week, according to the Carroll County (Md.) Times. Konz, who has been linked to the Ravens in the first round, bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times, five more than he did at the NFL scouting combine. He also did offensive line drills for an hour. According to the Carroll County Times, Konz has pre-draft visits scheduled with the Ravens, Bengals, Cowboys and Titans. Hensley's slant: Konz makes sense for a lot of reasons for Baltimore. He could start immediately at left guard and eventually replace Matt Birk at center. The biggest red flag is his medical history. He wasn't able to participate in the NFL scouting combine in February because of an ankle injury and he's scheduled for a medical recheck in Indianapolis this week.