Here are several whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC North:
• The Browns have rarely been able to get WRs Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie going in the same game. Entering Week 16, Massaquoi and Robiskie had just once racked up at least 50 receiving yards apiece in the same game. The Browns just haven't looked to the outside receivers as much as other teams and have spread the ball around to a variety of targets, thereby reducing the opportunities for Massaquoi and Robiskie.
• Third-year Bengals DT Pat Sims has picked up his play recently, with a sack apiece in Weeks 14 and 15. We hear Sims has practiced better of late and is pushing for a more prominent role in the defense in 2011.
• Ravens TE Ed Dickson figures to still have a role in the offense when TE Todd Heap (hamstring) returns to the Baltimore lineup, the way we hear it. Dickson has very good speed and has shown potential when given a chance to play this season.
• Ravens RB Willis McGahee racked up 53 yards on seven carries in the win over the Saints in Week 15 and figures to continue to get a handful of carries a game as a powerful, physical complement to Ray Rice. "I think he definitely could be a big weapon down the stretch," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said this week of McGahee. "He's done that before for us. He's always been [explosive] down the stretch; he's been a December and January guy, Willis has. ... He's a powerful, big, strong guy — makes people miss. I [think] he's kind of rounding into his January form, hopefully."