By Matt Vensel
6:00 AM PST, December 21, 2012
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
Wide receiver Torrey Smith and right guard Marshal Yanda returned to practice on Wednesday. ... Running back Ray Rice continues to say that he isn't bothered by a lighter workload and decreased production. ... The Ravens are still waiting for Ray Lewis to get the green light to return. ... Mike Preston wonders if we will ever see Lewis dance at M&T Bank Stadium again. ... The Ravens are eager to break out of their slump.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
Injured linebacker Terrell Suggs is still an asset to the Ravens defense. ... If the Ravens can win Sunday, their injured players might get some rest. ... Championships can erase the doubt that surrounds quarterback Joe Flacco. ... Three Ravens players made Pro Football Focus's Pro Bowl team for the AFC.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Tom Coughlin is not sure that history applies to this year's inconsistent New York Giants. ... New York's pass rush will need a vintage performance in Baltimore. ... With its Super Bowl credibility gone, the Giants defense needs to step up. ... Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell believes his defense will bounce back. ... Running back Ahmad Bradshaw is not a lock to play on Sunday.
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY
I reached out to Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger to give us the Giants perspective on Sunday's game at M&T Bank Stadium.OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano will likely return to his team on Monday. ... Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts has the attention of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. ... San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree has been a good catch after all. ... Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman says his confidence has not been shaken. ... The Carolina Panthers may keep rookie Luke Kuechly at inside linebacker when Joe Beason returns next season.
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