Wake-up: Tomlin's message to skeptics
March, 20, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
Owners and coaches continue to provide some notes from the NFL owners meetings, which are beginning to wind down in Arizona. Here's another packed edition of the wake-up call ...
- Owner Steve Bisciotti told The NFL Network that he has a gut feeling that safety Ed Reed will remain with the Ravens.
- The Ravens are interested in a handful of free-agent pass-rushers: Elvis Dumervil, James Harrison, Osi Umenyiora and Dwight Freeney. "We’re never going to walk away from a good player, and there just happens to be some pass rushers available right now,” coach John Harbaugh said, via the team's website.
- Baltimore is planning to meet with Raiders free-agent safety Michael Huff by the weekend, according to The Baltimore Sun. Huff, 30, is seen as a fallback option if Reed signs with the Texans, the paper reported.
- The Ravens' "aura" led Marcus Spears to sign with Baltimore in free agency, the former Cowboys defensive end told the Ravens' official website. The Chiefs, Jaguars and Patriots showed interest in him.
- Head coach Marvin Lewis told the Cincinnati Enquirer that getting to the postseason isn't good enough. The Bengals have made the playoffs three of the past four seasons but have yet to win a postseason game. "We’re not satisfied at all," Lewis said. "There was a perception they never got to the playoffs, now there is the perception we are satisfied with it. Someone is putting words in people’s mouths again.”
- Lewis told the team's official website that he doubts he'll move Rey Maualuga, who recently re-signed with the team, from middle to outside linebacker. "We're very comfortable how we played on defense and all we do is keep getting better with those kids," Lewis said. "Rey had to manage KinderCare out there and he did a good managing it," Lewis said. "I never said we would move (Vontaze Burfict) to the middle before."
- Head coach Mike Tomlin delivered a strong message to those who doubt the Steelers can be a playoff team this season after losing the likes of linebacker James Harrison, cornerback Keenan Lewis and running back Rashard Mendenhall. "That's March talk," Tomlin said, via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'll see you at stadiums in the fall."
- Tomlin isn't a believer in the read-option offense. "I think it's the flavor of the day," Tomlin said, via NFC East blogger Dan Graziano. "We will see if it's the flavor of the year. We'll see if guys are committed to getting their guys hit." In the Steelers' only game against the read option, they held the Redskins to one touchdown and limited Robert Griffin III to 185 yards of total offense.
- Team officials said there is a chance that Charlie Batch could return next season even though the Steelers signed Bruce Gradkowski to be the primary backup to Ben Roethlisberger, according to the Tribune-Review. Batch has played the past eight seasons in Pittsburgh.
- It's unclear if the Browns made kicker Phil Dawson an offer or how hard they tried to keep him before he signed with the 49ers, The Plain Dealer reported. This is part of the Browns' statement on Dawson: "We know how much Phil meant to our organization and our fans, and he will always hold a special place in our franchise's history and with the city of Cleveland. We want to wish Phil and his family the best of success in San Francisco."
- The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto believes the Browns are taking a calculated risk in letting Dawson sign with the 49ers. "(D)on't be surprised if the Browns look for a young kicker, be it low in the draft or perhaps someone who has been cut once or twice -- as Dawson was back in the late 1990s," Pluto wrote.
- Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown will have a formal role with the Browns again, owner Jimmy Haslam told the Akron Beacon Journal. Haslam wouldn't elaborate on the specifics of Brown's responsibilities. An announcement will be made over the next couple of weeks.
- The Cardinals are waiting for Josh Cribbs' surgically repaired meniscus to heal before continuing talks with the Browns' free-agent wide receiver/kick returner, his agent told multiple media outlets.