- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Ravens reporter
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Unlike the Steelers, there are no plans to restructure around these parts. It's going to be the usual busy Wednesday on the AFC North blog. The weekly column will run around noon. The chat will kick off at 2 p.m. And the weekly poll should get posted sometime in the afternoon. Here's the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Ray Lewis won't be the only Raven getting a statue in his honor. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh will be inducted into the "Cradle of Coaches" association at his alma mater Miami (Ohio) University next year. A bronze, life-size statue of Harbaugh will be added to the Cradle of Coaches display on a plaza outside Yager Stadium early next year, joining the statues of Paul Brown, Bo Schembechler, Weeb Ewbank, Ara Parseghian, Earl "Red" Blaik, Carm Cozza, Paul Dietzel and John Pont. "To me, there is no greater recognition in coaching," Harbaugh said in a statement. "To be included with these great men is something only dreamed about."
BENGALS: The Bengals recorded consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1981-82. They've been to the playoffs the past two seasons. This is why defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer believes the Bengals are "really close" to making noise in the AFC. "The first year, we got thumped pretty good by Houston. This year was a lot closer," Zimmer told the NFL Network. "We're right there. But we're going to have to keep grinding and keep adding talent. We have a good nucleus of guys, and I think we're exactly where we need to be."
STEELERS: The Steelers officially gained $5 million in salary-cap room by restructuring the contract of linebacker Lawrence Timmons, according to NFL.com. Timmons' cap number had been $11.1 million, the third-biggest on the team behind Ben Roethlisberger ($19.5 million) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley ($13.2 million). It's the second time Timmons has restructured the extension that he signed in 2011. The restructuring of quarterback Roethlisberger's contract should be finalized by the end of the week.
BROWNS: NFL Network's Steve Wyche said running back Trent Richardson told him in an off-camera interview that quarterback Brandon Weeden struggled to read defenses at times last season. "He said they had to skew their offense a little bit, sometimes somewhat predictable," Wyche said of his conversation with Richardson, via The Plain Dealer. "[He] thinks things are going to open up a little bit, but he really does like Brandon Weeden." Any guesses on how long it will take before Richardson denies he said this?
Unlike the Steelers, there are no plans to restructure around these parts. It's going to be the usual busy Wednesday on the AFC North blog. The weekly column will run around noon.