- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Ravens reporter
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As the football world begins to focus on the Ravens and 49ers, it's getting to be very quiet with the other teams in the division. Not even the local papers are writing much about their teams. Here's what I could dig up in the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: The Ravens are heading to the Super Bowl relatively healthy. Coach John Harbaugh reported no new injuries on Monday. Four players were listed as questionable for the AFC Championship Game -- fullback Vonta Leach (right knee, ankle), inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (sprained right ankle, back), running back Bernard Pierce (knee) and reserve wide receiver David Reed (thigh) -- all played. According to The Baltimore Sun, left tackle Bryant McKinnie was noticeably limping after the game but he didn't miss any time in the game.
BENGALS: The Bengals are in good position for this year's draft with three picks in the first 54 selections, according to the team's official website. "They've got prime real estate," said Brian Simmons, a former Bengals first-round draft pick who an area scout for the Jaguars. "This is a draft that's not top heavy with a lot of talent, but it's got a lot of good players that can make teams better."
STEELERS: Jerome Bettis is looking to get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his third year as a finalist. He has run for the sixth-most yards in NFL history, and he is the only eligible back among the top 10 who is not yet in the Hall of Fame. "The sixth-best running back in the NFL should be in the Hall of Fame," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
BROWNS: Chief executive officer Joe Banner told Sports Illustrated that it was the Browns who walked away from Chip Kelly and not the other way around. "We removed ourselves from the process," Banner said. "We really liked Chip. He's intriguing, a very different thinker, and very smart. But you could see he was uncertain what he wanted to do. He may be in Philadelphia 10 years or longer and have a terrific career. But the fact he committed to Tampa Bay last year, backed out, then seemed all year to be leaning toward going to the NFL, then being so uncertain with us, we just felt it was too big a gamble. If there was no ambivalence, we may have offered him the job.''
As the football world begins to focus on the Ravens and 49ers, it's getting to be very quiet with the other teams in the division. Not even the local papers are writing much about their teams.