Morning take: Slaton likes Steelers' D

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories in the AFC North:

  • According to ESPN.com AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, Houston Texans tailback Steve Slaton says the Pittsburgh Steelers have the toughest defense in the NFL.

Morning take: No surprise here. Pittsburgh was one of the few teams that bottled up Slaton (13 carries, 43 yards) in Week 1 of his rookie season.

  • Baltimore Ravens receiver Derrick Mason spoke at Thursday's memorial service for former NFL quarterback Steve McNair and general manager Ozzie Newsome will attend funeral services for the former Raven on Saturday, Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun writes.

Morning take: Mason in particular spent a majority of his career catching passes from McNair in Baltimore and with the Tennessee Titans, and their bond goes far beyond the gridiron.

Morning take: We will have more on "Madden" this afternoon, once I finish taking NFC East blogger Matt Mosley to task in the upcoming Eli Manning vs. Ben Roethlisberger debate.

  • Carlos Holmes of the Dayton Daily News writes third-round tight end Chase Coffman is close to reaching a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Morning take: Coffman could help the Bengals if he recovers from his foot injury this summer. Getting to training camp on time would be a good first step.