October 3, 2013

NFL Notebook: Steelers make a deal for offensive line help

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - Levi Brown failed to live up to his pedigree with the Arizona Cardinals. The winless Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping a change of scenery might help Brown turn his career -- and Pittsburgh's sagging season -- around.


WHO: Bills (2-2) at Browns (2-2)

WHEN: 8:25 p.m.

SERIES RECORD: Browns lead 10-7

LAST MEETING: Bills beat Browns 24-14, Sept. 23, 2012

LAST WEEK: Bills beat Ravens 23-20; Browns beat Bengals 17-6


OUTLOOK: This had the potential to be the Sad Bowl, considering Cleveland last won a playoff game in 1994 and Buffalo in '95. But the duel of overachieving teams picked up a dash of steam last week when the Bills upset Baltimore as the Browns were upsetting Cincinnati. Suddenly, it isn't a matchup for which NFL Network must open its broadcast with an apology, because suddenly two rookie coaches (Doug Marrone, Rob Chudzinski) and two green QBs (EJ Manuel, Brian Hoyer) have two Rust Belt cities believing a little bit. I like Buffs with the points here and am pulling the trigger all the way on a hunch.

PREDICTIONS: Bills, 23-20.

-- Greg Cote, The Miami Herald



Both teams announced Wednesday that the Steelers acquired Brown for a conditional draft pick.

Brown, 29, never appeared comfortable in Arizona after the Cardinals selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 draft, two spots ahead of Adrian Peterson.

As a rookie, he started at right tackle for Arizona's 2008 Super Bowl team, then was moved to left tackle. But he never became the dominant blocker the Cardinals envisioned.

After missing all of 2012 with a torn triceps, Brown was labeled an "elite" tackle by new coach Bruce Arians in the offseason. But Arians quickly lost faith in Brown as the big lineman struggled against the pass rush off the edge. He gave up three sacks to Robert Quinn in Arizona's opener at St. Louis.

He will be replaced by Bradley Sowell, claimed off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 1. Sowell played in 10 games for Indianapolis as an undrafted rookie last season, when Arians was offensive coordinator, then interim head coach. 

RAVENS-JAGUARS: Baltimore ran out of patience waiting for its lackluster offensive line to become a cohesive, effective group.

After watching the Ravens yield 12 sacks and average a scant 64 yards rushing during the first four games, GM Ozzie Newsome obtained left tackle Eugene Monroe from Jacksonville for a pair of draft picks.

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh said a few details needed to be settled before Monroe could begin practicing.

JETS: New York signed David Nelson to add depth to a banged-up receiving corps.

Nelson played with Buffalo from 2010-12 and caught 94 passes for 1,042 yards and eight touchdowns. He signed with Cleveland in the offseason but was among the Browns' final cuts before the regular season. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Nelson's best season came in 2011, when he had 61 receptions for 658 yards and five touchdowns.

Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill could both be sidelined for the Jets' game against the Falcons at Atlanta on Monday night. Holmes tweaked a hamstring at Tennessee last Sunday and is expected to miss a few games. Hill suffered a concussion, and his status was uncertain.

"I think David is going to be a big-time target for us," quarterback Geno Smith said. 

BRONCOS: Denver was relieved weakside linebacker Danny Trevathan's knee injury wasn't serious after he was carted off the field toward the end of practice.

"I'm good! Thanks for all of your concerns (hash)BroncosUp," Trevathan tweeted after his MRI came back negative.

Trevathan will likely be listed as questionable for Sunday's game at Dallas.

RAIDERS: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor returned to practice and was working with the first team after missing last week's game with a concussion,.

Pryor is symptom free and appears on target to resume his starting role when the Raiders (1-3) hostSan Diego (2-2) on Sunday night.

TITANS: The NFL fined safety Michael Griffin $21,000 for his hit on New York Jets receiver Stephen Hill, which Griffin calls the consequence of going high.

Griffin said he appealed the fine as soon as he received it.

 JAGUARS: Receiver Justin Blackmon returned from a four-game suspension.

Blackmon practiced with the team for the first time since late August. He dropped one pass, but also made a one-handed catch in the end zone.

Blackmon was allowed to be in meetings during his suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, but wasn't allowed to practice.

"He looked great," quarterback Blaine Gabbert said. "He's in the best shape I've seen him in."

 SEAHAWKS: Seattle added a third quarterback to the roster by claiming B.J. Daniels off waivers from San Francisco. 

49ERS: Meet Mr. Hitner.

Called by that name for years out of respect for his hard-hitting defense, safety Donte Whitner has filed paperwork in Ohio through his lawyer to formally change his name by removing the 'W' -- after receiving permission from his mother, Deborah, to do so.

Whitner has been in touch with Nike to determine how many No. 31 Whitner jerseys are still in retail stores and whether he might need to financially contribute to make the switch.

San Francisco signed quarterback John Skelton to a one-year contract, giving it a strong-armed third-stringer under center.

LIONS: Detroit added much-needed depth at wide receiver by signing Kevin Olgetree to a one-year contract.

Ogletree was cut by Tampa Bay on Tuesday after signing with the Buccaneers as a free agent in March. He adds depth in Detroit, where the Lions are without their No. 2 receiver, Nate Burleson, indefinitely because he broke his left arm in a one-car accident.


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