2009 NFL Training Camp Questions – AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

After a breakout rookie season where he won two road playoff games, will quarterback Joe Flacco be more than a “Game Manager” in 2009?

How will the loss of defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, LB Bart Scott, S Jim Leonhard and others to the New York Jets affect the team?

How much is left in the tank of MLB Ray Lewis and can he and head coach John Harbaugh fill the leadership void left by Ryan’s departure?

Even though receiver Derrick Mason unretired, are any of the Ravens’ receivers ready to be QB Joe Flacco’s go-to guy?

Are there enough carries to go around for their running backs (LeRon McClain, Willis McGahee, and Ray Rice), if not who will be the featured back by midseason?

Cincinnati Bengals

After a weak 53-catch and 4 TD season in 2008, will receiver Chad Ochocinco put aside all of his shenanigans to return as quarterback Carson Palmer’s go-to receiver?

If the Bengals have another losing season, will on the hot seat head coach Marvin Lewis survive?

How is the health of quarterback Carson Palmer’s elbow and can an O-line that yielded 50+ sacks in 2008 protect him?

Can the myriad of Bengals players with poor off the field pasts (WR Chris Henry, RB Bernard Scott, DE Frostee Rucker, RB Cedric Benson and others) stay out of trouble enough in 2009 to help the team?

How will having the cameras from HBO’s Hard Knocks series at training camp effect the team?

Cleveland Browns

Is the Browns’ starting quarterback going to be Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn?

Can new head coach Eric Mangini restore the bark of a Browns team that had many difficulties under departed head coach Romeo Crennel?

Is receiver Braylon Edwards healthy (ankle) and can he shake-off offseason trade talks to return to his former Pro Bowl form?

How will the departures of TE Kellen Winslow, head coach Crennel, and GM Phil Savage affect the 2009 Browns?

Can defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s new defense help a unit that gave up an average of 151.9 rushing yards per game and only had 17 sacks?

Pittsburgh Steelers

How will head coach Mike Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers team handle being the “hunted” after winning their franchise’s 6th Super Bowl title in 2008?

How will quarterback Ben Roethlisberger handle the offseason allegations against him and how many times a game will he throw the ball?

Is running back Willie Parker healthy and will he share carries with 2nd-year running back Rashard Mendenhall?

Can the Steelers defense led by safety Troy Polamalu and NFL Defensive MVP linebacker James Harrison continue to stop teams like in 2008 (led NFL with only 223 points allowed)?

Is the Steelers’ offensive line finally solidified enough to protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (sacked 51 times in 2008 including the playoffs)?


Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


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