Baltimore Ravens: Rookie Lamar Jackson will continue to play a role in a package of plays for the Ravens each week, and many of them utilize starting quarterback Joe Flacco as a wide receiver. Flacco, though, said he's not likely being convincing enough as a receiver or decoy, because his wife, Dana Grady, told him as much. Flacco, who was less than enthused when Jackson was drafted in the first round, said he sees his job on gadget plays in a different light. "My wife gave me crap the one day, told me I need to look more interested out there," Flacco said Wednesday. "But I'm just trying to stay out of it. I'm not comfortable out there. I don't need to get too creative. ... You can see me. I'm out there just standing. I really just try to stay out of the way of everything. That's what I'm told to do. That's what I'm doing."
Cincinnati Bengals: Aaron Rodgers' loss was Andy Dalton's gain in the offseason when former Packers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt took the same role with the Bengals. Dalton credits Van Pelt's experience with Rodgers and his own playing experience for opening the offence of Bill Lazor to more movement out of the pocket, where Dalton is having huge success this season. "He's definitely more relaxed and loose," Dalton said of Van Pelt. "It's a great quarterback room. It's a great environment. He makes the learning easy, and he makes it fun. ... We had a connection right from the start."
Cleveland Browns: Defensive back Damarious Randall knew from the jump that No. 4 overall pick Denzel Ward was a home-run pick by general manager John Dorsey. While Ward was a man of few words in the locker room, he turned it up when workouts began. Several veterans said in the past week that Ward has been one of the most valuable players, not only on defence but on the team in 2018. "He is very quiet in the locker room," Randall said. "I think he is a very quiet guy in the locker room, but on the field, he is probably 180 but he plays like 195-200 pounds. He will throw his body in there hitting. He is a complete corner. ... A playmaker. Made every play that came to him. Just looking to see him keep developing into the player that he is."
Pittsburgh Steelers: When the Steelers line up across from the Bengals' offence this week, head coach Mike Tomlin said a major difference from past meetings will be playing a game of Find A.J.
All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green is moving to the slot and from left to right in the formation to maximize matchups, and the Steelers don't typically endorse assigning a single cornerback to a wide receiver because of the widespread impact on the rest of the defence. "It's always about the trickle-down effect when you're talking about travelling with (a wide receiver)," Tomlin said. "That's always an element in the equation. It's not just about the person you're working to neutralize. "He's going to impact the game. He always does."
(With inputs from agencies.)