Here are several whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC North:
• The Ravens' Josh Wilson got the start in place of Fabian Washington at right cornerback in Week 10 and drew the assignment of covering Roddy White for most of the game. Wilson surrendered the game-winning TD to White, who may have gotten away with a shove — "He tried to grab me, and I just pushed him down," White noted — and he was almost beaten for a second score earlier in the game when White ran a deceptive stop-and-go route and left the cornerback behind, only to have QB Matt Ryan overthrow White. Washington appeared as a reserve, replacing Wilson briefly following Wilson's collision with FS Ed Reed. Washington had been benched in favor of Wilson in the Week Nine win over Miami.
• In a recent interview with PFW, Ravens DT Haloti Ngata had an interesting take on how he's changed his approach over the years: "I used more power than technique sometimes, and I think guys knew that about me. Now I'm able to do both, and not only just use power; I can use technique, fineness and play some power in there. I think it's great I'm able to recognize those things. ... Being in the league longer, you know yourself, and you know opponents."
• In what was his final game of the season Nov. 8, Bengals ORT Andre Smith was benched briefly in favor of Dennis Roland, with head coach Marvin Lewis noting, "Nobody has a right to play here. We're going to play guys that are going to get it done right for us." However, before word surfaced about Smith having suffered another injury to his left foot in practice — his second in two seasons — the feeling was that Smith likely would have kept the job going forward.