AFC North notebook: Bengals have top tight end tandem
The Patriots built a groundbreaking offense around Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but the NFL's best tight end duo now might be in Cincinnati with Jermaine Gresham and rookie Tyler Eifert, a player who interested the Steelers before they drafted Jarvis Jones.
To Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, what makes his offense different from the Patriots' tight end-driven unit of last season is having a premier deep threat receiver in A.J. Green, something Tom Brady lacked in New England.
Lewis calls Eifert a combination of Mark Bruener and Todd Heap.
“I feel like in this division, versus the 3-4 outside linebackers we've got to block, a part of it is that we have a tight end who can do that,” Lewis said. “Just like Heath Miller there, we have that guy now in Jermaine and a young guy in Eifert, who I think someday will be able to do that as well.”
Kruger sees similarities
The Browns (0-1) have lost 10 straight to the Ravens, and pass rush ace Paul Kruger played a role in many of those wins. Now, Kruger is with the Browns and, surprisingly, he sees many similarities in the way Cleveland is attempting to play defense and the way it's traditionally played in Baltimore.
Kruger credits former Steelers assistant coach Ray Horton, now the Browns defensive coordinator.
“Ray Horton is one of those guys who I was really quickly able to look up to and learn from,” Kruger said. “I really like his style of defense. There are definitely differences ... but it's all similar stuff. We run a similar defense.”
Ravens finally open at home
This was supposed to be the Baltimore Ravens' showcase game, their first home game since winning the Super Bowl. Thursday night. The nation watching. Instead, they'll open their home schedule Sunday against ... the Browns.
Peyton Manning's seven touchdown passes no doubt had more to do with the Ravens being blown out 49-27 in their season-opening game as defending champs, but traveling all the way to Denver didn't help either. The Sept. 5 game couldn't be played in Baltimore because of a conflict with an Orioles game.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said it wasn't the 61 plays the Broncos ran for 200 yards that beat the Ravens but the nine plays they ran for 300 yards.
“You give up 49 points and 500 yards and it's really, really disappointing,” Pees said. “I'm not a stat guy, but I'm not an idiot, either.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.