AFC North Notes: Bengals cut WR Shipley

ITEM: Harbaugh on No. 2 pick: 'Nothing stood out'
The Baltimore Ravens are looking for candidates to play the outside linebacker position usually manned by Terrell Suggs until the reigning Defensive Player of the Year can come back from a torn Achilles.

Maybe it will end up being second-round pick Courtney Upshaw, but it won't be because of what he did in the Ravens preseason loss to the Detroit Lions.

After missing the Ravens' preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons because of an injured shoulder, Upshaw made his professional debut against a Lions offensive line that held him without a tackle and prevented him from generating any pressure on the passer.

"Nothing stood out that I saw," Harbaugh said about Upshaw's performance.

"I think he played hard," added Harbaugh. "It's good to get him out there. He needs to play. Here's a guy that hasn't practiced that much. He's only practiced a couple of days. So, just to have him out there playing was a good thing. We'll see where he goes from here."

The Ravens pass defense was shredded by Lions quarterbacks Matt Stafford, Kellen Moore and Shaun Hill, who combined to go 29-of-45 for 341 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, for a passer rating of 102.2. Stafford's rating was 145.2.

On the preseason, the Ravens pass defense has allowed the opposition to pass for 614 yards in two games with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Opposing quarterbacks have a combined rating of 83.24.

ITEM: Former second-round pick released
The Cincinnati Bengals waived third-year wide receiver Jordan Shipley, who had been struggling to come back from last year's Week 2 injury in Denver when he tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee.

Shipley was limited throughout offseason workouts and started training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Three days later, he was activated.

According to a report by Joe Reedy, during the last two weeks Shipley had not been able to show any burst or explosiveness coming off the line of scrimmage, plus he was still tentative in running routes. In two preseason games, Shipley was running with the third team and had one catch for 4 yards.

"He did everything in his power to get right and is still getting right," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told Reedy. "He still has a little bit of a lingering effect in his mind, but I think that will be eliminated shortly. It's just that right now we feel good about where we are at wide receiver."

Quarterback Andy Dalton is close with Shipley and their lockers were next to each other. Dalton and Shipley worked out together before the offseason drills began in April.

"He'll have a chance to hopefully get picked up and go to a place to learn their system," said Dalton. "I think he's at peace with what's going on. It's unknown for him what's going to happen. I think eventually it will turn into a good situation for him."

A third-round pick in 2010, Shipley had 52 catches for 600 yards to lead all AFC rookies that season. In 2011, he caught two passes for 14 yards before his injury.

"I think it's the right way to go. He's been nothing but a true professional since I've known him for just a year and a half or so," Gruden said. "I know the fans all like him. But, right now, we have a lot of good players at that position, and something had to be done. Unfortunately for him, it happened today."

Andrew Hawkins moved into Shipley's roster spot last year and has emerged as the team's top slot receiver.

ITEM: Weeden impressive vs. Packers
At this stage of the preseason, coaches are looking mostly for improvement, and Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has given that to Coach Pat Shurmur.

After struggling in the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions, Weeden completed 12 of 20 passes for 118 yards, with no touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks for a rating of 76.7 against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

During Weeden's possessions, the Browns offense came away with three field goals and a 1-yard touchdown run by Montario Hardesty for a 16-7 lead in the way to a 35-10 win for the Browns.

"It was definitely an upgrade for me over last week,'' said Weeden. "I just wanted to go out and get better, and I think I did that. There are things that I'll learn as we get going. You know, you watch (Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers. He's the best at it. He'll stretch the field, but he's smart and he puts the ball down, he knows where to go with the ball.''

Weeden had two passes dropped, one by Josh Gordon and one by Greg Little.

"For the most part, Brandon played well,'' said Coach Pat Shurmur. "Today, he saw some different things. He played against a lot of pressure. He moved the team and he found a way to drive the ball. He completed a couple of third downs that were important.

Veteran quarterback Colt McCoy turned in another solid performance. In his only drive of the game, McCoy completed 4-of-6 attempts for 58 yards on a 14-play drive that ended with Brandon Jackson's 1-yard touchdown.

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