Steelers: Receiver Group Hopes to Make Up for Antonio Brown's Loss
In each of the past six seasons, Antonio Brown produced at least 100 receptions and 1,200 yards receiving for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That's tremendous production the Steelers need to replace at wide receiver following Brown's trade to the Oakland Raiders.
The Steelers know JuJu Smith-Schuster is their No. 1 receiver, coming off a terrific year (111 catches, 1,426 yards, seven touchdowns). But for the Steelers' offense to be remain prolific, they'll need some other unproven targets to step up.
So far during training camp, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin says he likes what he sees from the revamped receiving corps that includes Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Dionte Johnson, Eli Rogers, Ryan Switzer and Diontae Spencer.
"We like the pool of guys that we're working with," Tomlin said, via Steelers Depot. "Some of them, resume may be short, but we like the pool of guys, we like the trajectory of the group, and we look forward to those guys being big-time contributors to our efforts."
All the receivers opposite Smith-Schuster are getting a long look as the Steelers define their depth chart leading up to Week 1. Training camp is a crucial time for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to build chemistry with his new targets.
Moncrief, who signed a two-year deal with the Steelers during free agency, appears to have the early inside track to start opposite Smith-Schuster. Moncrief says the chemistry between himself and Roethlisberger has already been established.
"It's crazy how fast he connected with me, how fast he learned the way I ran my routes and the spots I would be in," Moncrief told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "As you can tell, we continue to get better and better. We just want to keep going from that and keep getting better. It's going to be a fun year. It's going to be exciting."
Browns: Baker Mayfield Score Points with Beer-Chugging Skills
The play of young Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has gotten plenty of hype, but tossing spirals isn't the only thing he's good at. At a Cleveland Indians game over the weekend, Mayfield was shown on the outfield big screen puncturing a beer can with his teeth, then quickly shot-gunning the contents. The crowd went crazy and the video went viral.
It did not look like the first time Mayfield had tried this. But Browns fans are most excited about the high expectations for their team — a popular pick to win the AFC North.
The Browns held a stadium practice Saturday and Mayfield could sense the expectations.
"Anytime you step on this field, there needs to be different type of energy and we felt that," Mayfield told reporters. "We're taking a step in the right direction each day. We'll be ready Week 1, but we're not satisfied yet. The excitement's justified. Now we got to go make it right for them."
Bengals: Competition to Start at Left Guard
Knowing the Bengals likely won't have wide receiver A.J. Green to start the season has presented an even greater challenge for first-year Head Coach Zac Taylor. Meanwhile, just like the Ravens, the Bengals are trying to decide on a starting left guard. John Jerry, Christian Westerman and Keaton Sutherland are all in the competition, and Taylor wants to see more before he makes a decision.
"I'd think it'd be unfair to put a time table on it," Taylor said, via CincinnatiBengals.com "We've got all these practices, and we'll use them if we have to. If it resolves itself sooner than that, then we'll pick it and go with it. Right now we've got several guys that are in contention for that job, and we want to make sure that they all (get a chance). This is the NFL, they don't all need their fair shot, but we've got a lot of candidates that we feel like are worthy of getting a shot at that job and we'll see how each one of them does."