Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he’ll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too.
RUNNING IT BACK
Starting cornerback Jimmy Smith underwent groin surgery this week and will miss Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and more. ... Meanwhile, new Ravens cornerback Chris Johnson is trying to catch up to speed. ... Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger isn't playing Sunday, but he continues to weigh on the minds of the Ravens. ... Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin have different styles, but they both get results. ... Mike Preston says all the attention Sunday should be on quarterback Joe Flacco.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
With Roethlisberger out, oddsmakers are now favoring the Ravens on Sunday night. ... Familiar faces are missing from this great AFC North rivalry. ... Linebacker Paul Kruger has given the Ravens defense a lift. ... Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg got a gift after the win over the Oakland Raiders. ... Can the Ravens reach the Super Bowl?
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley will adjust the offense with Byron Leftwich in at quarterback. ... Rashard Mendenhall is likely to start at running back for the Steelers. ... Safety Ryan Clark is optimistic about playing Sunday. ... Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan's wallet went missing in the Heinz Field locker room a few weeks ago.
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY
I'm in Pittsburgh to keep tabs on the Steelers this week, and despite being the hunters instead of the hunted for once, the Steelers are exuding a quiet -- almost too quiet -- confidence heading into Sunday night.
OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was fined for his illegal block on Ravens safety Josh Gordon two weeks ago. ... The Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night. ... New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow responded to the anonymous teammates who ripped him. ... The Philadelphia Eagles think they are using running back LeSean McCoy enough. ... Washington Redskins wideout Pierre Garcon returned to practice.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun