The weekly column will be posted later this morning. It will focus on a rookie who needs to step up immediately. Until then, here's your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: As tight end Aaron Hernandez was getting charged with murder, former Ravens coach Brian Billick reflected on his experience with linebacker Ray Lewis, who was initially charged with two counts of murder 13 years ago before pleading guilty to obstruction of justice. Unlike the Patriots, the Ravens stood by Lewis. “Our support of Ray Lewis stemmed primarily from our faith in Ray Lewis as a person," Billick told the NFL Network, via The Baltimore Sun. "We did not have access to all the facts because as you saw in the Ray Lewis situation, it took months and months for that to unfold -- to find out that Ray Lewis really wasn’t culpable in any of those events. We had to go on, kind of, a leap of faith.”
BENGALS: Defensive end Margus Hunt was among the AFC first-year players who listened to cornerback Adam Jones speak at the NFL rookie symposium. Even though Hunt has a more conservative lifestyle, he told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he still took valuable lessons away from Jones' talk. “He talked about his upbringing and basically his message was surround yourself with people you trust and have been there with you the whole way,” Hunt said. “There are a lot of people that want a free ride.”
STEELERS: Linebacker Jarvis Jones, who was selected No. 17 overall by the Steelers, said the Browns told him they wanted to pick him at No. 6. But medical concerns and Jones' disappointing pre-draft workouts caused Cleveland to pass on him. Jones didn't sound upset by the Browns' decision. “I think I fell to a great organization,” Jones told ESPN Radio in Cleveland at the rookie symposium. “I’m blessed to be there. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m loving it. There’s nothing like playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can feel the intensity when you walk into that building. Being a part of this defense is going to mean a lot to me. It’s all about winning.”
BROWNS: First-round pick Barkevious Mingo drew rave reviews from Jacksonville offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, the No. 2 overall pick of the draft. Joeckel played against Mingo twice, once in his freshman year and again last season. "He's a freak athlete," Joeckel told The Plain Dealer. "He's long, he's fast, he's got a good jump on the ball. He improved a ton from the first time I played him to last season. When I played him as a freshman, he was long and rangy and by the time I played him again my junior year, he got a lot stronger and he had some power moves to him also."