- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Politics, NCAA violations, weight issues and draft strategy. Yes, your wake-up call covers a wide spectrum Friday ...
RAVENS: Nose tackle Terrence Cody acknowledged to the team's official website that he "didn't play that well" in 2012. Cody said he struggled to maintain his strength after going from 370 pounds in college to 325 pounds last season. “That was Mount Cody. That’s my old self,” Cody said, referencing his college nickname. “Now I’m like ‘Speed Bump Cody’ because I’m smaller.” Cody, who lost his starting job last season, will have more competition on the defensive line this year after Baltimore signed Chris Canty and Marcus Spears in free agency.
BENGALS: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick disputed a report that he was part of the alleged recruiting violations at Auburn. In the report, former Auburn cornerback Mike McNeil said coaches gave him $500 to entertain Kirkpatrick during a 2008 recruiting visit. NCAA rules limit student athletes to spend less than $50 per day on visiting prospects. Kirkpatrick ended up playing for Alabama. "Nobody gave me any money, and nobody spent any money on me that I know of," Kirkpatrick told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "I don’t know what they would have spent it on. We went to a party, but nobody was paying to get in there. We just walked in like everybody else seemed to be doing.”
STEELERS: Back as the chairman of the Steelers, Dan Rooney reflected on his three years as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, a role in which his immediate boss was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rooney told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Secretary Clinton would tell me, 'I want you to go to the Irish government and tell them this is how we feel. We hope they will be on our side.' There were many times that they did not agree. Sometimes, they wouldn't agree, and it would end, and then you had to go back." Rooney said it's not all that different when it comes to persuading politicians or fellow NFL owners. "There are a lot of similarities in dealing with people," he said.
BROWNS: As the Canton Repository pointed out, the Philadelphia Eagles made a deal involving a top-40 pick in eight consecutive drafts during Joe Banner's time as team president. Now that Banner is the Browns' chief executive officer, is Cleveland looking to make a deal? “My history has been more trading down than up or staying,” Banner said recently. “I have had some instances where we’ve traded up for a player we thought was really good at a position we thought was difference-making. But historically I have either stayed or traded back. Accumulating picks over the course of the draft is a good strategy generally.” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes the Browns will have a chance to move down from the No. 6 overall pick because teams will want to jump in front of Arizona (No. 7 overall) to get an offensive tackle like Central Michigan's Eric Fisher or Oklahoma's Lane Johnson.