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 How They Stack Up - The Afc North In June 
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Post How They Stack Up - The Afc North In June
[Note: Although dated, this article is provided for informational purposes. - Admin]




How They Stack Up - The Afc North In June
by: Jay Nault



All is about to be very quiet on the NFL front, as most staff and players take advantage of the final opportunity to relax and recharge before the grind of training camp begins. This is also an opportunity to take a look at the AFC North to see how the teams in the division are looking as their rosters near completion.

Baltimore Ravens

Offseason Additions:

The Ravens were relatively quiet in terms of the number of free agent acquisitions this off-season, but they did make a big splash late and add a potentially crucial cog to the RB position. The Ravens let Chester Taylor go, but brought in Mike Anderson, a powerful, bruising runner who will be a perfect compliment to Jamal Lewis. Baltimore also traded for QB Steve McNair, which could solve their seemingly-endless QB problem.

Outlook:

The Ravens also get S Ed Reed and LB Ray Lewis back from injury, so this is a team that could be extremely tough to deal with all year long.

Cincinnati Bengals

Offseason Additions:

The Bengals, like the Ravens, were not as active as other teams in the off-season, but did bring in a player who could be a significant addition to their defense. It seems that for years, the Bengals have had a good offense and a defense that got gashed regularly. The team is hoping that DT Sam Adams, a premier run-stopper, can provide the resistance the defense needs to get off the field and give the ball back to their powerful offense.

Outlook:

As important as the addition of Adams was, the Bengals season depends on the health of QB Carson Palmer. If he makes it back in time for the season, look out - the Bengals could threaten for the division and even bigger things. If not, their improved defense won’t matter.

Cleveland Browns

Offseason Additions:

The Browns spent money like crazy this off-season, as they obviously are looking for an immediate boost in their overall talent level. Additions include DT Ted Washington, DE Willie McGinest and C LeCharles Bentley, among others. They added to their haul by drafting defensive studs Kamerion Wimbley and D'Qwell Jackson, so this team could make a big leap this year, as they also get WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow II back from injury.

Outlook:

If young QB Charlie Frye can play well, which is a big “if,” this team could go a lot farther than most pundits predict. If Frye struggles, the team will as well, as this is a very tough division.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Offseason Additions:

It wasn’t so much about what the World Champions added this off-season as opposed to what they lost. RB Jerome Bettis retired, WR/KR Antwan Randle El and DE Kimo von Oelhoffen signed elsewhere and QB Ben Roethlisberger scared everyone recently with a potentially-deadly motorcycle accident that luckily left him relatively healthy. However, his return in time for the season is far from guaranteed. The Steelers did draft WR/KR Santonio Holmes in the first round, but he’s had his share of problems already.

Outlook:

The Steelers’ renowned depth will be tested this season, as they suffered the same fate as most Super Bowl champions in that their roster was raided and somewhat depleted. That said, they’re still the champs, and they’ll remain that way until someone takes it away from them.

About The Author

By Jay Nault sponsored by http://www.stubhub.com/ . StubHub sells sports tickets: http://www.stubhub.com/sports-tickets/ concert tickets, theater tickets and more to just about any event in the world.



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Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:13 pm
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