It seems that both the Ravens and New England Patriots have taken pains to avoid uttering the kind of comments that become bulletin-board material.

In fact, two of the rivalry’s more active protagonists in outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and quarterback Tom Brady made nice as Suggs lumped Brady in with Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning as the best quarterbacks in NFL history and Brady called Suggs one of the best players in the NFL at his position.

Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson was asked Monday if the verbal barbs between the two sides can be traced to two proudful units in the Ravens defense and Patriots offense.

“I don’t know Tom personally,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what he thinks of us. What I do know is that he is super competitive. Competitive people like a challenge, and we’re a challenge. We play a certain way that I think he likes, and I think he looks forward to playing. He gets fired up and expresses that. That’s my opinion. I think he looks forward to playing us.”