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AFC North Whispers

Steelers concerned by shortage of deep threats

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By PFW staff

These are a few of the whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC North lately:

• The Steelers' ability to stretch the field in the passing game with receivers other than Mike Wallace could become a concern, the way we hear it. Veteran WRs Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El are more short and intermediate threats, whereas rookies Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, while possessing playmaking ability, are still works in progress.

• The Ravens moved ORG Marshal Yanda to right tackle for the injured Jared Gaither in Week One, and Yanda generally fared well. Asked about whether Yanda could be a longer-term replacement at the position if Gaither's back injury continued to linger, head coach John Harbaugh responded, "Yes, yes, we do."

• Browns TE Evan Moore may be listed as second string on the depth chart, but his role in the passing game looks like it will not be that of a backup. Moore led the Browns with 87 receiving yards in the season opener and was targeted five times. Moore has good speed for a tight end and has some run-after-the-catch ability.

• Ravens LB Jameel McClain won the starting "Will" linebacker spot in the Ravens' defense over Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden, but LB coach Dean Pees told PFW he is high on all three players. While McCain was deserving of his starting role, "just as equal, I could see Ellerbe starting, I could see Tavares Gooden starting," Pees said. "I feel very blessed about all of them. I feel good about all of them."


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