Around the AFC North

Around the AFC North
December 29, 2012, 9:00 pm
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What’s shakin’ in the Ravens’ division:

*Steelers: Mike Wallace may have already played his last game for Pittsburgh. Having injured his hamstring in last Sunday’s game against the Bengals, the speedy wide receiver is out for the season-ender against the Browns. He doesn’t have a deal for next season after sitting out the entire preseason in a contract dispute.

“I definitely don‘t want to go out like that,” Wallace told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I really want to end on a high note. I‘ve got big plans no matter the situation. I have big plans for myself and my family. Hopefully, everything will go in a positive manner.”

Wallace’s return to the salary-cap-strapped Steelers seems unlikely, even though he’d be open to it.

“It‘s the team I‘ve been on my whole career,” he said. “I don‘t know anything else, so I love playing here. Obviously, this season didn‘t go where I wanted it to go. I‘m happy with the start of my career, and I feel like I‘m on the path to doing some great things.”

*Bengals: With lots of head coaching vacancies expected this off-season, the Bengals could be in a position to lose one or both of their coordinators. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer have been rumored as candidates for many openings. The longer that Cincinnati keeps going in the playoffs, though, the more detrimental for them, because they couldn’t interview until after the Bengals’ season ends.

*Browns: Josh Cribbs lashed out at fans who laid into him on Twitter with a crude tweet of his own after Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, during which he muffed a punt. It could end up being one of his last interactions with them as a member of the Browns. The return ace is headed for free agency, and though he has indicated he wants to return to Cleveland, he also sounded frustrated by the Browns’ lack of success and frequent turnover of the roster.

“I hate that we rebuild every year,” he told  The Plain Dealer. “You got to teach guys how to play special teams because, in college, you don’t take special teams to heart. Guys don’t pay a lot of attention to it. They don’t know how important it is. Every year is a constant rebuilding process, every year. Coupled with that and the turnover and the regime [change] constantly happening, you know I’m not on the field by myself. … It’s not a good recipe for successful football.”

And as for antagonistic tweets, Cribbs said he’s learned a lesson.

“I’ll just get thicker skin,” he said. “That has made me get thicker skin.”