AFC North Notes: Ravens sign Williams

ITEM: Ravens add ex-Bengals RG Williams
The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a two-year contract with former Cincinnati Bengals starting guard Bobbie Williams, according to the Associated Press.

After signing with Cincinnati in 2004 after four seasons in Philadelphia, Williams, 35, started 120 games with the Bengals, primarily as a right guard. In 2011, Williams missed the first four games after being suspended for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy and missed the final three after breaking his left ankle in a loss to Houston.

Speculation is that Williams was signed to compete at left guard during the Ravens' search for a replacement for Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs, who signed a $36 million deal with the New Orleans Saints.

"Bobbie had great career here. One of my warriors," said Coach Marvin Lewis. "I wish him and his family all the best."

Williams' replacement as the Bengals' right guard is expected to be rookie first-round pick Kevin Zeitler.

"To the people of Cincinnati, it has been an honor and a privilege," Williams said. "I want to thank (team president) Mike Brown, Marvin Lewis and (offensive line coach) Paul Alexander for giving me the chance, and I have nothing but respect for the organization. I understand we weren't able to work things out and it was time to move on. The opportunity in Baltimore presented itself, I talked to my wife and we prayed on it."

ITEM: Colt says Harrison hit was no cheap shot
Appearing as a guest on the Dan Patrick Show, Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy said that he did not think James Harrison's hit on him in a 2011 game in Pittsburgh was a cheap shot.

McCoy sustained a concussion on the play, and Harrison was issued a one-game suspension by the NFL office for it, but the quarterback told Patrick that Harrison was simply going after the quarterback aggressively, as he's supposed to, while McCoy was scrambling.

"I'm outside the pocket," McCoy said. "I'm trying to make a play. He is an outstanding football player. I think everyone will agree on that."

McCoy also said he doesn't remember the hit but that he has watched the videotape of it several times.

ITEM: Green-Ellis to wear special chinstrap in 2012
According to a report in the Chillicothe Gazette, Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis will wear a chinstrap this season to be fitted with the Impact Indicator, which helps identify potential concussions on the field.

Produced by Battle Sports Science, the Impact Indicator is built with technology embedded in a chinstrap to signal the possibility of a head injury. It will be used mainly in youth football and will alert referees and coaches to get a player off the field to assess his condition.

"I wanted to see how it worked and also wanted to help make the game safer for kids because a lot of parents are not letting them play football due to the risks of concussions," said Green-Ellis, who first wore the chinstrap during Super Bowl XLVI as a member of the New England Patriots. "Now there is a better way to detect it. Plus for coaches and trainers it's hard to pay attention to all the players on the field."

Green-Ellis rushed 10 times for 44 yards in New England's loss to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, and not once did the chinstrap go over the threshold that would have triggered a warning.

Besides Green-Ellis, there is a possibility that the Saints' Pierre Thomas will also wear a chinstrap fitted with the Impact Indicator.

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