Around the AFC North

Around the AFC North
December 23, 2012, 2:30 am
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Poking around the AFC North:

*Browns: Though rumors are rumbling around that Alabama coach Nick Saban could take over the Browns, there are denials all around.

One report had Saban already interviewing candidates to join his staff in Cleveland, but Saban actually was interviewing coaches to replace his departing secondary coach with the Crimson Tide, The Plain Dealer reported.

Saban sounded a fatalistic note in denying he’s leaving Alabama to replace Pat Shurmur (who hasn’t been fired yet).

"I'm not sure, regardless of what I say, that anybody believes what I say, because I say it all the time,” Saban said. “This is what we're happy doing. This is what we like to do. But nobody really believes that. So, you know, maybe it doesn't matter. I don't know what I have to say or do.”

*Bengals: Cincinnati brings a 5-2 road record into its game Sunday at Pittsburgh. As noted at, the Bengals are 10-5 away from Cincinnati and 7-8 at home with Andy Dalton at quarterback.

Why is that?

"I don’t know that it really matters, home or away,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “You’ve got to go play, wherever it is. You’d like to be perfect at home — that’s one of my goals every season, be perfect here at Paul Brown [Stadium]. The home-field crowd is a big advantage. It’s a disadvantage to your offense to be on the road — I know that. But I don’t know the reason why. I do know our guys do a good job of circling the wagons and know it’s just about us. That’s a good thing. But I can’t answer it.”

*Steelers: On Saturday, the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, Pittsburgh unveiled a monument marking the event, sitting in the spot where Franco Harris caught the ricocheted pass and then took it in for a touchdown as time ran out to win a playoff game against the Raiders. The marker is next to Heinz Field, at the former site of Three Rivers Stadium.

Harris and Frenchy Fuqua did the honors. It was Fuqua to whom quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw the pass, which was sent flying when Raiders safety Jack Tatum hit Fuqua.

“Isn't this beautiful, guys?” Harris said of the monument. “That play really represents our teams of the '70s. There are moments in life where you know what you're doing. Me and Frenchy, we had no idea what we were doing.”