Bettors Insider
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during an NFL football organized team activity session at the team's training facility, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during an NFL football organized team activity session at the team's training facility, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)|Associated Press

AFC North Training Camp Schedules: Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Bengals – Additions, losses, needs, expectations

All but the Bengals start July 25. The Bengals start the next day.

Associated Press


OPEN CAMP: July 25, Owings Mills, Maryland

LAST YEAR: Ravens ended three-year playoff hiatus in 2018, capturing AFC North with run-heavy offense and top-ranked defense in NFL. Baltimore was struggling before rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson took over for injured Joe Flacco, and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner retained starting job even after Flacco was healthy enough to play. Jackson was 6-1 as starter heading into postseason, but string of success ended against Chargers, who bottled up fleet-footed quarterback and limited his effectiveness passing.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: S Earl Thomas, RBs Mark Ingram, WR Seth Roberts, Marquise Brown and Michael Floyd, DE Shane Ray, CB Justin Bethel, offensive coordinator Greg Roman, GM Eric DeCosta.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: LBs Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith, WRs John Brown and Michael Crabtree, S Eric Weddle, TE Maxx Williams, GM Ozzie Newsome

CAMP NEEDS: Keeping Jackson upright is most important facet of camp, but Ravens also must hone passing game that was all but ignored after Jackson took over and turned offense into grind-it-out unit. In eight starts (including playoffs), Jackson had only one 200-yard passing game. Also of importance this summer: finding pass rushers to replace Suggs and Smith, along with tutoring Patrick Onwuasor to be new man in middle following Mosley's exit.

EXPECTATIONS: If Jackson can take next step from rookie season and stay healthy, offense should be effective enough to keep defense off field. Not that Ravens don't love playing defense, but coordinator Don Martindale faces stiff challenge in effort to pull together unit depleted by free agency. Baltimore's pass rush could be problematic, but secondary — which features Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, Jimmy Smith, Tony Jefferson and Thomas — has potential to be among best in league.



OPEN CAMP: July 25, Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

LAST YEAR: Pittsburgh let 2 1/2-game lead in AFC North vanish over final month of season to miss playoffs for first time since 2013. There were bright spots. Ben Roethlisberger led NFL in passing. JuJu Smith-Schuster developed into bona fide star after hauling in 111 receptions. Young running back duo of James Conner and Jaylen Samuels kept chains moving even with Le'Veon Bell opting to sit out year. Kicker Chris Boswell took massive step backward, and despite leading NFL in sacks for second straight season, defense produced just 15 takeaways, 29th in league. Five of Pittsburgh's six losses were by seven points or less, most of them aided by self-inflicted mistakes like late turnovers or penalties.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: CBs Justin Layne and Steven Nelson, LBs Devin Bush and Mark Barron, WRs Donte Moncrief and Diontae Johnson.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: WRs Antonio Brown and Darrius Heyward-Bey, RB Le'Veon Bell, S Morgan Burnett, LBs Jon Bostic and L.J. Fort, offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

CAMP NEEDS: Welcome to NFL, Devin Bush. Steelers traded up in first round for first time since 2003 to acquire speedy inside linebacker from Michigan, necessary step with Ryan Shazier's career in jeopardy as he recovers from spinal surgery in December, 2017. Bush won raves during organized team activities and minicamp, but as coach Mike Tomlin likes to point out, that's just "football in shorts." Right tackle needs to be sorted out, with Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor and Jerald Hawkins in mix to replace Marcus Gilbert, who was traded to Arizona.

EXPECTATIONS: Browns have swagger, Ravens have young quarterback of their own and some momentum after rallying to take division title, but "the standard is the standard" in Pittsburgh. Offense will have different look after Brown pouted his way into trade to Oakland. Bigger question marks are on defense, which faltered at key times last season. Roethlisberger signed contract extension that will carry him until 40th birthday, but whether Super Bowl window remains open during remainder of his tenure will rely heavily on defense recapturing some menace.



OPEN CAMP: July 25, Berea, Ohio

LAST YEAR: Found long-term quarterback — at last. Baker Mayfield more than lived up to hype as No. 1 overall pick, taking over starting job in Week 4 and setting NFL rookie record with 27 touchdown passes. Cleveland experienced another coaching change as Hue Jackson finally fired after going 3-36-1. Freddie Kitchens, who began season in shadows as running backs coach, took over as offensive coordinator and was hired in January, Browns' sixth coach since 2010.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Jalen Strong, RB Kareem Hunt, DE Olivier Vernon, DL Sheldon Richardson, S Morgan Burnett, TE Demetrius Harris.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: G Kevin Zeitler, S Jabrill Peppers, LB Jamie Collins, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, DB Derrick Kindred.

CAMP NEEDS: Immensely talented Beckham, who arrived in blockbuster trade with Giants, skipped majority of offseason program and needs to catch up with new offense. He also must show teammates he won't be daily diva or distracting headache. Kitchens has full platter in first head-coaching gig. One of his early challenges is disgruntled running back Duke Johnson, who wants trade after Browns signed suspended Hunt. Former Chiefs star can practice and play in preseason but must serve eight-game NFL ban.

EXPECTATIONS: Browns are season's trendy team. They haven't made playoffs since 2002 — league's longest current drought — and more difficult schedule will place more pressure on Kitchens to deliver success to fan base believing Super Bowl trip closer than ever. Vernon's arrival makes Pro Bowl DE Myles Garrett (13 1-2 sacks in 2018) more dangerous. Mayfield's biggest test may be getting Beckham, WR Jarvis Landry, RB Nick Chubb and others enough touches to keep all happy.



OPEN CAMP: July 26, Cincinnati (first practice in Dayton, Ohio on July 27)

LAST YEAR: Coach Marvin Lewis was fired after a 16th season without a playoff win, and 36-year-old Zac Taylor was hired in a notable shift for the franchise. The offense was one of the league's worst again, with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green suffering significant injuries. The defense was by some measures the worst in team history. The Bengals slipped behind intrastate rival Cleveland and finished last in the AFC North for the first time since 2010. In the offseason, the Bengals essentially kept intact a roster that's coming off three straight losing seasons, though troublesome linebacker Vontaze Burfict was released.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Taylor, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, OT Jonah Williams, G John Miller, CB B.W. Webb, TE Drew Sample, LB Germaine Pratt, QB Ryan Finley, G Michael Jordan.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: Lewis and both coordinators, G Clint Boling, LB Vincent Rey, DE Michael Johnson, TE Tyler Kroft, OT Andre Smith, OT Cedric Ogbuehi, OT Jake Fisher, Burfict.

CAMP NEEDS: The offense will be learning its third system in three years, and the defense is on its fourth coordinator in three years, so there's a lot of adjusting going on. The offensive line is the biggest issue at the outset, as it was the two previous years as well. The Bengals took Jonah Williams with the 11th overall pick and expected him to start at left tackle, but a shoulder injury during offseason workouts required surgery and could sideline him the entire season. Boling, the left guard, retired because of a blood clot one week before the start of camp, leaving the line in a familiar state of flux.

EXPECTATIONS: Taylor has never been a head coach. He's growing into an unfamiliar role while also planning to call plays during games, something he did with the Dolphins for five games in 2015. The coordinators haven't served a full season in their roles, either. The Bengals had to wait until after the Super Bowl to hire Taylor from the Rams, leaving them to assemble a coaching staff on the fly. Given all the newness and change, the Bengals will be a work in progress all season as they try to escape the basement. They haven't finished last in consecutive seasons since 2001-02.


Wanna bet?

In New, Promo code: BETTORS (You can get two risk-free bets up to $1,000 if you qualify.) William Hill NJ (Deposit $50, get $50 cash) SugarHouse NJ (First deposit match up to $250)

In Pennsylvania: SugarHouse PA (First deposit match up to $250)

Outside the United States: William Hill UK (selected countries); Pinnacle (No UK or Portugal); Asian Odds (No UK or Portugal)

More options coming soon. Thanks.