- Browns receiver Anthony Schwartz reflects on rookie year, season-defining interception (Beacon Journal) - Anthony Schwartz received a tremendous boost of confidence in his first NFL game, then learned a harsh lesson a week later. Like the Browns, the speedy wide receiver they drafted in the third round last year endured highs and lows in 2021. Reflecting on the experience, Schwartz told the Beacon Journal the theme of his rookie year was “growth.”
- Greedy Williams has room to grow into an elite NFL defensive back (cleveland.com) - After watching the four incredible playoff games from this past weekend, it’s clear that NFL teams need talented secondary personnel to challenge Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Justin Hebert and the rest of the remarkable AFC quarterbacks. With continued improvement and growth, Cleveland’s young secondary will allow them to compete with these quarterbacks for years to come. Former LSU cornerback Greedy Williams may be a key piece to a defense that finished fifth against the pass and in overall defense in 2021.
- Kwesi Adofo-Mensah says Browns fans should be grateful for “rock star” GM Andrew Berry (Browns Zone) - The Browns have churned through general managers since returning to the NFL in 1999. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah believes they’ve finally landed on the NFL’s version of Mick Jagger or Prince.
- M.J. Stewart was PFF’s top coverage safety after Week 11 (Browns Wire) - The Browns defense gelled down the stretch, allowing under 250 total yards in six of the team’s final seven games. One of the big, and underappreciated, reasons was the play of versatile defensive back M.J. Stewart.
- Steelers’ Art Rooney II on Kevin Colbert’s departure, future at QB (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) - Steelers president Art Rooney II said general manager Kevin Colbert, who has been with the franchise since 2000 and helped build the foundation for two Super Bowl titles, will step down after the 2022 draft. Rooney said Colbert, 65, is interested in remaining in a reduced capacity this season, but the Steelers will start conducting outside interviews immediately for the position.
- Ravens make Michigan’s Mike Macdonald, 34, youngest defensive coordinator in NFL (Baltimore Sun) - The Ravens hired Mike Macdonald as their defensive coordinator Thursday night, tapping the 34-year-old coach to return to Baltimore and fix one of the NFL’s most disappointing defenses.
- Trash talk, a ticket blockade and a rivalry reborn: Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers meet for NFC title (ESPN) - The Los Angeles Rams could have ensured their opponent in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game was anyone but the San Francisco 49ers. But the Rams lost to their northern rivals 31-10 on Nov. 15 and 27-24 in the season finale on Jan. 9. And now, on the NFC’s biggest stage, they must face a 49ers team that slipped into the playoffs with that Week 18 win — a 49ers team the Rams have lost to six straight times.
- The Bengals Believe (The Ringer) - Cincinnati, led by quarterback Joe Burrow, wants to be more than the NFL’s feel-good story. The Bengals think they belong among the league’s top contenders.