Even though it's a holiday week, the AFC North blog will still post its weekly column later this morning and hold its chat this afternoon. Here's your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron told The Baltimore Sun that the Ravens hardly had to change Joe Flacco's throwing motion when they drafted him in the first round five years ago. “Joe was very well schooled on how to throw the football. He came in with great mechanics. He came in with natural arm strength and endurance,” Cameron said. “But I would say to give the credit to Joe himself. Joe knows what he is doing when it comes to his arm. I’ve never seen him ice his arm. I never saw it sore. I’ve seen him tired maybe once.”
BENGALS: Punter Kevin Huber led the NFL with 11 punts downed inside the 5-yard line in 2012 and this wasn't happenstance. “Last offseason I put a big emphasis on being more aggressive with that specific hit, getting it down further and getting a little more hang time,” Huber told the team's official website. “We put a big emphasis on our gunners and our coverage guys to get down there. They worked really hard in practice and in the offseason to get in the right position and just to know what to expect, what kind of hit I was going to have and the bounce it was going to take.”
STEELERS: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have the "most combustible" relationship in the league, according to NFL.com's Adam Schein. "Fact is, separately, I like both of these cats," Schein wrote. "Big Ben is a future Hall of Famer, one of the best quarterbacks in the game today. He has a knack for winning, plain and simple. But part of that comes from his ability to ad-lib; Roethlisberger routinely goes away from a scripted play at the first sign of trouble and scrambles to make something happen. Meanwhile, Haley is a strong play caller. I think he doomed his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs by not calling plays in his final year at the helm."
BROWNS: Coach Rob Chudzinski has been impressed with backup running back Montario Hardesty, who has battled injuries since being the team's second-round pick in 2010. “He has put some muscle on and picked the offense up well. Just watching him on tape, and as a runner, he has the natural instincts and he is a slasher who has good vision," Chudzinski told the team's official website. "The thing I’ve really seen and been most impressed with is him catching the ball. I don't think he has dropped a pass out here. He has really worked a lot on his hands."