Welcome back to Around the AFC North, a recurring feature where we spotlight a story or two from our division rivals. In today's edition, Pacman Jones gives advice, Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley kiss and make up, and Vonta Leach hits free agency.
So this is a weird one. Adam "Pacman" Jones is going to be doling out advice to this season's NFL rookies. Believe it or not, this is the second year in a row that Jones has been asked to speak. Last season it made some sense, Jones is a guy who has made a lot of mistakes since being drafted, who better to offer a warning on the pitfalls of hanging out with the wrong people and not acting like a professional? What makes this year weird is that Jones was recently charged with assault for punching a woman outside of a nightclub. Jones on speaking at the symposium:
"I wouldn't want any of those guys to go through what I've gone through," Jones told NFL.com "It's not fun being on the news everyday for this mistake or that mistake because your boy did this or you did that."
I think the league may want to rethink this. How seriously are you going to take a guy who can't follow his own advice?
Last season the Steelers' offense had its ups and downs, and many of the downs could be attributed to the frosty relationship between offensive coordinator Todd Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. At one point last season Roethlisberger began using hand signals from the offense he ran under Bruce Arians. This season, however, both men say things will be different, due in no small part to Haley reaching out to Roethlisberger.
Haley approached Roethlisberger and several other players during the offseason asking them about changes they'd like to see made, and the result is an attack they hope is a little more streamlined than it was in 2012.
''Just the simple fact that he came to me and asked what I thought about it, changing the names of things to kind of make more sense to all of us, (helps),'' Roethlisberger said.
Maybe this works, but color me skeptical. Roethlisberger has always been kind of a brat when it comes to offensive schemes, famously not getting along with Ken Whisenhunt either. Add Todd Haley's abrasive personality to that mix and I just don't see it working. Maybe I'm just an optimist, but I think things will go south for these two at the first sign of adversity.
Yesterday Baltimore officially cut pro-bowl fullback Vonta Leach. While it had been speculated that this would happen, the decision really could have gone either way. Even though they couldn't get a deal done, both sides clearly hold respect for each other:
''He played a significant role in helping us get to the AFC Championship game in 2011 and win the Super Bowl last season,'' general manager Ozzie Newsome said. ''He added to our toughness and will to win. Plus, he provided leadership.''
For those wondering about whether or not the Browns will take a look at a guy who would clearly be an upgrade, wonder no more:
Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) June 11, 2013
This isn't all that surprising I guess. The Browns have been pretty clear that they only want to add young players through free agency and I'll be surprised if they even use a traditional fullback this season. Leach's agent says teams he thinks might be a good fit include Denver, Dallas, Houston, and Cincinnati. Personally, I wouldn't be shocked if Leach ends up back in Baltimore after all.