Like most Fridays during the season, I'll be giving my prediction later this morning. It's a very special Super Bowl edition of it. One of the staples of the blog, The Final Word, has been pushed back to Saturday. Now, let's catch you up on the Ravens and the rest of the division in the Wake-up Call ...
RAVENS: On Wednesday, safety Ed Reed said he could "definitely" see himself playing for the Patriots. On Thursday, Reed clarified (or toned down, depending on your perspective) his comments. “Of course I want to stay in Baltimore,” Reed told The Boston Globe. “I was asked, would I play for Bill Belichick? Yes. What football players wouldn’t play for Coach Belichick? Will I be in New England? Most likely not. It’s just terrible that people get half the story. It’s even more bad when you hear the comments that they make towards you. But it comes with it, man.”
BENGALS: Not getting one pass thrown his way in the first half of the wild-card loss in Houston still irks wide receiver A.J. Green. "It’s tough in a big game and you're the go-to guy and you don’t get the ball in the first half; it's all frustrating," Green said, via the team's official website. "They had a game plan that had a matchup problem with (tight end) Jermaine (Gresham) and they felt like they could go to him. Things happen like that. All games aren't perfect. That's one thing we need to build on. We just need to capitalize. Not only getting me the ball, but just making some of the big plays."
STEELERS: Backup quarterback Charlie Batch won the Byron "Whizzer" White Award, one of the highest honors that the players' union gives one of its players. It recognizes a player who is as dedicated off the field as he is on it. Batch has raised more than $1.2 million to help children in his hometown of Homestead, Pa. "I've never done this for awards," Batch told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You try to create better opportunities for kids, and to be rewarded for that is special. It's humbling."
BROWNS: Outside linebacker Scott Fujita believes too much is being made of the Browns' style of defense under new coordinator Ray Horton. "To me it's about trying to find a system that best suits the talent you have on the team," Fujita told The Plain Dealer. "If you have a general philosophy of being a 3-4, you can still toy around and do some kind of a hybrid, much like Arizona has done the last couple of years or Pittsburgh, where they keep a defensive lineman slanting and moving constantly." Fujita may not be playing for any defense next season. He is dealing with a potentially career-threatening neck injury.