The wake-up call is being posted a little later than usual. It's not because I had a long weekend, although I can say I had a quieter one than Rolando McClain, whose days as a Baltimore Raven may be numbered. The NFL draft is coming up in a few days, and AFC North blog headquarters will shift to Cleveland on Thursday. There will also be a blogger mock draft this week. I will provide more details on that later. Here's the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: General manager Ozzie Newsome has high expectations for Terrell Suggs after the 30-year-old linebacker dealt will two major injuries (torn Achilles and biceps) last year. “I expect Sizz to come back and play at the level he played at in 2011,” Newsome told the team's official website. “I think going through that injury, fighting his way back, helped mature him as a person, helped him grow as a person." Suggs was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. Newsome also believes Suggs will step in the roles left by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. “[He will] provide leadership for us that we need to be able to continue to play defense the way we want to play here in Baltimore," he said.
BENGALS: Bengals players are happy that former Steelers linebacker James Harrison is playing with them instead of against them. Harrison signed a two-year deal with the Bengals on Friday. "I think it's an awesome signing," defensive tackle Domata Peko told the team's official website. "You know we have a great defense here already, so to add a person like that to our defense is awesome. He brings a lot of toughness, experience and swagger. We just got better as a team today." In case you missed it Friday, here's my column on Harrison signing with the Bengals.
STEELERS: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac puts three quarterbacks on the Steelers' radar if they're looking for a developmental quarterback in the third round or later: Tennessee's Tyler Bray (the Steelers reportedly had dinner with him before his pro day), Florida State's EJ Manuel (the team spent a lot of team meeting with him last month, according to the paper) and Miami of Ohio's Zac Dysert (who broke most of Ben Roethlisberger's passing records at the school). According to Dulac, if the Steelers don't draft a quarterback, Charlie Batch would likely be welcomed back. Bruce Gradkowski was signed to be Roethlisberger's backup earlier this offseason.
BROWNS: The Plain Dealer's Bud Shaw now questions the appeal of Jimmy Haslam being a more hands-on owner than Randy Lerner even if he is found innocent of the federal investigation into his family-run company. "Pleading ignorance in a rebate scam calls that into question and frames every decision he has made in Berea to date and all the ones to come," Shaw wrote. "He was supposed to be the hands-on owner Lerner wasn't, bringing buckets of sweat equity to the task. That -- and enforced accountability throughout the organization -- were supposedly what made Pilot Flying J such a success after all."