I'm making my way from Cleveland this morning after spending two days at Browns training camp. I will provide my impressions of the Bengals and their first episode on "Hard Knocks" in a couple of hours. Just a reminder that the AFC North weekly chat is at 2 p.m. today. It's going to be a busy day, so let's start with the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: In the wake of numerous suspensions in baseball, quarterback Joe Flacco spoke out against performance-enhacing drugs. “I’m definitely one of the guys … test me and the guys as many ways as you can to make sure that there is nobody in the league that’s on anything,” Flacco said, via the team's official website. “The last thing that I want to be doing is having my guys, that I’m pretty sure are natural, going against guys that aren’t.” Flacco added, "It’s bad for all sports, and sports as a whole. You want to go out there and you want to play on a level playing field and you want the best to be the best. You don’t want that stuff to have any part in that.”
BENGALS: Coach Marvin Lewis took aggressive linebacker Vontaze Burfict to task for the aggressive linebacker's altercation with Falcons running back Steven Jackson in a joint practice. "I told him if he did that to me what he did to Steven, I would have hit him with a two by four," Lewis said, via the team's official website. "Steven should have gotten him in his sleep last night." Lewis objected to Burfict jumping on Jackson's back after making a tackle.
STEELERS: Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said the give-and-take between players and coaches is "night and day" when compared to last year. "I'm not speaking for anybody else, but I think everybody's more comfortable, and that's the way it should be," Haley told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's much more fun when you know people's personality and strengths and weaknesses, as a coach especially because that's what you're trying to play to. That's the key this year going forward, is the trust level needs to continue to build, coach to coach, coach to player, player to player, player to coach. That's when you get good, when ... there's give-and-take trust, you're going to get stuff done."
BROWNS: Running back Dion Lewis could be in line to start the preseason opener if Trent Richardson (shin) and Montario Hardesty are sidelined. “He’s had a good camp," coach Rob Chudzinski said. "He’s really showing a lot. He’s been a playmaker and shows good vision, running skills, good demonstration of catching the ball. So, I’m looking forward to seeing him in the game." Hardesty's roster spot is in jeopardy, but he has a decent chance to make the team if he can get healthy, sources told The Plain Dealer.