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Around the AFC North: Big Ben Says He Would Have Been at Minicamp

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks to pass in the first half of an NFL game.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks to pass in the first half of an NFL game.

Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger Planned to Attend Minicamp

Ben Roethlisberger isn't sure about the timeframe for offseason OTAs, minicamps and training camp due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Roethlisberger's recovery from right elbow surgery is going so well, he says he would've participated in some way at Pittsburgh Steelers OTAs.

"I was going to be ready to go for the OTAs and the minicamps," the Steelers veteran quarterback said via Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. "That was going to be the plan. Now I don't know how much I was going to do, I don't know if I was going to be doing team stuff or stuff like that.

"My plan was to be out there doing individuals, doing one-on-one routes during OTAs and minicamp. That obviously is not going to happen. But if I was ready then, I'll be ready when it's time."

Roethlisberger expects to be 100 percent for the 2020 season, whenever it begins. He is throwing footballs that contain a computer microchip to read data.

"It reads the spin rate and reads the velocity and reads the spiral efficiency," Roethlisberger said. "We did it actually in training camp in 2018 so it's actually cool, we have a baseline from a couple of years ago so we can compare, see where we are. I'm throwing it right now off the numbers and data, probably right around 60 percent. That's just me choosing to be at that number. I know I can let it go and throw, but what's the point, why? There's no reason to throw as hard as I can right now."

Bengals: Will Dalton Still Be in Cincinnati Next Season?

The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to draft former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick to replace Andy Dalton as their franchise quarterback. While Dalton has been linked to various teams for the 2020 season, his next destination has yet to be determined and he remains under contract with Cincinnati for next season. Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reported that there is a definitely possibility that Dalton could remain with the Bengals next season.

According to Head Coach Zac Taylor, the Bengals are simply keeping their options open regarding a quarterback who has been their starter for nine seasons.

"Every option is on the table out there," Taylor told Elise Jesse of WLWT. "We're trying to put ourselves in the best position to make sure we're prepared for next season and we have the best assets we can have. We think the world of Andy, obviously."

Browns: First-*Round* Pick May Not Be Offensive Lineman

Most mock drafts have the Cleveland Browns taking an offensive lineman with the 10th pick. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Browns selecting offensive tackle Mekhi Becton of Louisville, while Joel Klatt of Fox Sports predicts Cleveland's choice offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. of Alabama.

The Browns began to address their offensive line during free agency when they signed former Tennessee Titans right tackle Jack Conklin to a reported three-year, $42 million contract. Taking another offensive lineman, particularly a left tackle, would make sense after quarterback Baker Mayfield was sacked 40 times last season. However, new General Manager Andrew Berry doesn't want to tip his hand before the draft and says the Browns could easily go a different direction with the 10th pick.

"I would not make any assumptions," Berry told during a conference call. "Jack has played left tackle before. Kendall Lamm has played left tackle.

"The offensive line is always going to be a priority. Not just this year, but any given year because if we can't protect the quarterback and we can't create holes in the run game, then it's going to be a really tough challenge for our skill players to produce and play at a high level."

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