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Around the AFC North: Odell Beckham Jr. Drawing Questions at Browns OTAs


Browns: Odell Beckham Jr. Drawing Questions for Part-Time OTA Participation

New Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is already drawing some criticism in Cleveland.

Beckham showed up for the first day of Browns OTAs last week, but left to work out on his own afterwards.

"Listen, I have never disputed the fact that it's not important for him to be here, but it's also important for him to be mentally ready to be here,'' Head Coach Freddie Kitchens said Wednesday. "I'm not giving him an out by any stretch of imagination, and nobody here knows the conversations that Odell and I have. I'm just saying it's better for him to be here when he can present his best self – emotionally, physically, everything.''

Beckham also got some criticism recently when he talked about “turning (the Browns) into the new Patriots.” The Browns haven't been to the playoffs since 2002, while the Patriots have won six Super Bowls during that time.

However, Kitchens said Beckham wasn't making a prediction about next season, just striving to be the best. The Browns are a trendy pick to win the AFC North next season, and Kitchens isn't shying away from Beckham setting lofty goals.

"I think Odell was saying that he wanted to get to that point," Kitchens said. "Hell, I do, too. I think the New England Patriots have played 587 playoff games or something like that with the collective team that they have on their roster right now. … Tom Brady has played in nine Super Bowls and won six of them. I want to get there, so we can print that. I want to get to what the Patriots are."

Steelers: Roethlisberger Hosts Teammates for Lake House Retreat

After the dramatic departures of running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown, the Steelers are hoping for a less tumultuous 2019 season. Star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took a step toward building team unity by recently hosting some skill position players at his Georgia lake house.

Wide receiver Tevin Jones was among several players who posted pictures on social media from their time at Roethlisberger's place.

The Steelers missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2013, and many speculated that discord in the locker room was a contributing factor. Roethlisberger, who recently signed a contract extension, invited teammates to his home not only for fun, but for offseason workouts in Lake Oconee, Ga.

At age 37, Roethlisberger has indicated his intention to play at least several more seasons, and the Steelers haven't had a losing season since 2003. Roethlisberger seems committed to backing up the statement he issued after signing his new deal.

"I am as excited to be a Steeler in year 16 as I was when they drafted me," Roethlisberger said. "They will get my absolute best."

Bengals: Top Draft Pick Shuffles Offensive Line

It may only be OTAs, but it appears rookie Jonah Williams is the Cincinnati Bengals' new left tackle.  

Williams was the top offensive lineman selected in the draft (11th overall) and could be the starting left tackle for a long time. Offensive Coordinator Brian Callahan said he planned to experiment with different line combinations during OTAs, and Cordy Glenn played well as Cincinnati's starting left tackle last season.

However, via Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic, Glenn has moved to left guard, making room for Williams to become the starting left tackle.

The Bengals don't have to make a final decision during OTA's, so they won't. 

"We have the flexibility to give us the five best players wherever they fit," Callahan told the team's website. “We’re going to mess with a bunch of different combinations.”

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