If you were expecting the undefeated Ravens to be strutting around this week in anticipation of their Monday Night Football showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers, you probably would have been disappointed in the level of rivalry-related trash talk at their Owings Mills facility yesterday.
Because there wasn't any. The locker room was almost subdued, and I'm guessing it wasn't an accident. Maybe they're hoping to tiptoe into Heinz Field and ambush the banged-up Steelers. Maybe they're just a different kind of team under new coach John Harbaugh.
"We're basically going to get ready for the game,'' Haloti Ngata said. "It's pretty much a divisional game and you want to get a win. We don't think of it as a big Monday Night game. We're thinking of it as an important divisional game."
In situations that require a little attitude, the Ravens media usually turns to Bart Scott (left), but he wasn't going there either. Even his supposed personal rivalry with receiver Hines Ward barely bubbled to the surface.
"I don't have a rivalry with anybody,'' he said. "It's early in the season and we've got a long way to go. It's our one opportunity to showcase ourselves on Monday Night Football. It's a divisional game and they count more, so we just want to get an opportunity to get a 'W' and be 3-0 in the division."
Scott even complimented Ward for the work he has done in Korea to raise awareness about widespread discrimination against mixed-race children in that country.
"He does some tremendous things,'' Scott said, "but when it's football, it's different."
Pretty tame stuff, but the Steelers are banged up -- running back Willie Parker won't play -- and there's no reason to slap anything up on their bulletin board.
Associated Press photo