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Top of the Morning News, Oct. 21, 2011

"Lewis and Del Rio shared three of their most memorable seasons together. When Del Rio arrived in 1999, Lewis was well on his way to becoming the league's most ferocious defender. Triple-digit tackles, sacks and interceptions were just part of his game. His leadership, attitude and intensity were equally noted."  Associated Press

"Thomas, the Jaguars' leading receiver, said considering the versatility and experience of wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker, there's every chance the veteran wide receiver can help the Jaguars' struggling offense."

"Landry brought leadership and veteran safety experience — something that was lacking last year — to the Jaguars' secondary."  The Times-Union

"When it comes to outside talk, Marcedes Lewis said he doesn't listen."

"Del Rio is hoping the team will be healthier and said he expects five or six players back this week." The Times-Union

"He's a first-round pick for a reason, has a big arm, very talented, and you definitely don't want to take him lightly," Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson said, "(but) you know you can take advantage of disguising things, stuff like that. He just hasn't had the experience, hasn't seen things as much."

"We wanted Dawan back, yes, and unfortunately it didn't work out," Harbaugh said. "He's a heck of a player. We've got a ton of respect for him. He was a huge part of our defense the last three years and even before. He's very physical, obviously, he's an excellent tackler."  Carroll County Times

"Let's see who comes out the better running back that night," Rice said.

"The best friends will square off on the football field Monday when the Ravens head down to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars, marking the first time the longtime teammates have opposed each other since childhood. Making that meeting even more significant is that it will happen in primetime in front of a national television audience."

Paul Kuharsky of examines the struggles of Titans running back Chris Johnson.

The Indianapolis Star features Colts owner Jim Irsay.

Albert Breer of discusses NFL defenses, Carson Palmer and how Cam Newton's success will help another college quarterback in his weekly notebook.

"Never mind the [NFL]( Leagues/NFL "More news, photos about NFL") standings. When the 1-4 Denver Broncos play at the 0-5 [Miami Dolphins]( Leagues/NFL/Miami Dolphins "More news, photos about Miami Dolphins"), a nation will be watching.  Tebow Nation." USA Today

"The Texans and Titans play the most important game in this 10-year rivalry on Sunday. The winner will be alone in first place in the AFC South - a division that should be won by the Texans or Titans." Houston Chronicle

"Despite their undeniable popularity, however, neck rolls — much like parachute pants, Members Only jackets and bolo ties — faded away." The New York Times

Scouting the opponent

"If the Ravens have a shot at a Super Bowl appearance, they have to elevate their pass protection and keep Flacco upright and healthy." The Baltimore Sun

"Flacco has been sacked 10 times thus far, which ranks among the bottom half of the NFL. But he has also been hit 28 other times, according to game summaries produced by the league." The Baltimore Sun

"In another possible boost to the Ravens' No. 3-ranked secondary, cornerback Chris Carr also practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Carr, who has been battling a hamstring injury since training camp, didn't practice all last week."

"Rice didn't think he and Jones-Drew would be conversing much this week prior to Monday night's clash in Jacksonville, but he has an inkling of what his counterpart is thinking." The Baltimore Sun

"Everyone wanted to talk about the knock. It sure hasn't shown up in games that he's played in," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I think he's not playing like a rookie. He's making some really good catches."

"A source said that Reed, who led the NFL with a 29.3-yard average as a rookie last season, will re-assume his role as the team's primary kick returner." The Baltimore Sun

"In 11 prime time games on Sundays, Thursdays and Mondays under Harbaugh, the Ravens hold a 7-4 record, with seven of those contests being played on the road. Baltimore's head coach knows that eventually the team will get some big homes games on Monday night, but for now the team is fine with whatever the schedule makers decide."

"The genesis for the iPads originated from coach John Harbaugh, who said he received one as a gift from a friend. After watching the team expend volumes of paper and players carrying tomes that weigh as much as 50-pound dumbbells, Harbaugh wondered if it was time for a change." The Baltimore Sun

"The Ravens have been unkind to opposing running backs this season." The Baltimore Sun

Tweet, Tweet

Surgery went great, shout out to my #MOM for being here! She's really racking in those nursing home visiting hours when she gets old!
-- @ATrain92 (defensive end Austen Lane)

Great practice today! Felt like some real football weather 4 a change! #MNF is only a few days away #JAGS Can't wait 2play under the lights!
-- @ZachPotter88 (tight end Zach Potter)

This iPad doin it's thing right now. Now I can watch film at my house an don't have to go to the facility. #winning
-- @Phrozen_STAR (cornerback T.J. Heath)

The "bangin shrimp" at TacoLu though?! #G.O.A.T
-- @WillRackley (guard/center Will Rackley)

Ravens are the only team in the NFL this season yet to give up a touchdown in the fourth quarter. #Jaguars. #NFL


Stat of the day

The Jaguars finished the 2010 season ranked 28th in defense and are currently 8th after six weeks.  The improvement ties Houston (30th to 10th) as the largest in the NFL.

The last word

"A game is a game, just the time is changed. I really don't look at it any different. You've just got more time in the hotel before it, but Monday Night Football is cool. We're the only game on television; everybody is going to be watching. It's just a bigger stage, so we've got to show up and be ready to go."

-- Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert on making his Monday Night Football debut**

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