Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
The Steelers' Marcus Gilbert is likely moving from right to left tackle this season, general manager Kevin Colbert told a Pittsburgh radio station.
Gilbert, the team's second-round pick last season, made 13 starts as a rookie and all were at right tackle. But the status of left tackle Max Starks is uncertain because he had ACL surgery last month and is an unrestricted free agent.
"If we were to line up today, ultimately again it's the coach's decision, but my guess is Marcus Gilbert would kick over to the left," Colbert said. "And Willie Colon, who we're fortunate to get back next year, would move up to the right. Jonathan Scott would be in the mix as the competition."
Hensley's slant: Gilbert, the first rookie to start at right tackle for the Steelers since 2006, quietly improved throughout the season. His biggest mistake came in Week 16 when he reportedly missed a team meeting and was benched. The Steelers hope that Gilbert can make a better transition to left tackle than the Ravens' Michael Oher did.
BENGALS: Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis addressed signing former Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, whose coaching expertise has been on the offensive side of the ball, to assist in the defensive backfield and on special teams. "Coaches can coach [no matter what]," Lewis told the team's website. "Hue's done a lot of things since he left us. He's been a coordinator twice, a head coach, a quarterbacks coach. He'll able to conceptualize what offenses are doing for the defense." Jackson's experience in the AFC West will come into play next season, when the Bengals face all four teams in that division including a game against the Raiders and Carson Palmer at Paul Brown Stadium. Hensley's slant: Coaching defense and special teams could be temporary for Jackson. As I pointed out when the Bengals hired Jackson on Friday, he could be the in-house replacement if offensive coordinator Jay Gruden leaves for a head coaching job.
BROWNS: The Plain Dealer of Cleveland listed five college prospects that the Browns will consider in the first round: Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne and Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Browns currently have two picks in the first round (No. 4 and No. 22). Hensley's slant: I believe the Browns are targeting three players for the No. 4 pick: RG3, Blackmon and Claiborne. I'm not buying that the Browns will take Richardson that high. Running backs like Adrian Peterson get drafted in the top 10, and I don't see Richardson in that class. And Tannehill is a candidate for that 22nd overall pick.
RAVENS: Kickoff returner David Reed is working to come back from a torn ACL that occurred in late December. He missed three games last season with knee and shoulder injuries and one game for an NFL suspension after violating the league's substance abuse policy. “I’ve never had this many injuries in my whole career," Reed told the team's website. "So hopefully, I’m getting them all out of the way while I’m young, and then the sky is the limit after this." Hensley's slant: Reed is a dangerous returner. That is, when he holds onto the ball. Reed led the NFL in kick returns with a 29.3-yard average in 2010 as a rookie, and he would've ranked second last season with a 29.7-yard average (his 18 returns weren't enough to qualify him in the league rankings). But Reed was benched after fumbling three times. If Reed can come back this year from the ACL injury, the Ravens should give him one more chance based on his production.