On the ground in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - There's about four inches of snow on the ground here, and a Ravens fan pretty much everywhere I look at the downtown Marriott.

The Ravens might be playing the AFC championship game away from the comfort of Charm City, but by no means is there a shortage of purple here in Rhode Island, at least not at my hotel, located about a half-hour drive from Gillette Stadium.

The hotel bar is packed with jerseys - saw a bunch of people sporting the threads of Joe Flacco and Ray Rice and even a Terrence Cody uni - and everyone seems in good spirits about 19 hours from kickoff.

The snow apparently fell for most of the day today, but the flakes have stopped, and according to Weather.com, we're unlikely to have any precipitation of any kind tomorrow.

They're calling for a high of 32 degrees Sunday, which should be perfect playoff weather. Chilly, but not frigid.

Before popping down to the hotel bar with some fellow reporters to grab a bite and a drink, I wanted to quickly pass along a couple thoughts from linebackers Jarret Johnson and Terrell Suggs about the importance of getting Patriots quarterback Tom Brady out of his comfort zone tomorrow.

Johnson put it best - and most succinctly - earlier this week.

"You have to pressure Brady. If you let him stand there, he is going to kill you," Johnson said.

People always talk about the importance of sacking the quarterback and bringing him to the turf. We have that conversation every single week, and by the end of each season, you start to see players roll their eyes when reporters ask how crucial it will be that week to get pressure on the QB.

But with Brady, even if you can't bring him down, you have to force him out of his comfort zone somehow, even if it's just making him move his feet in the pocket. The Ravens have to get Brady off his spot tomorrow and disrupt his timing with his receivers.

Brady doesn't excel at making plays outside the pocket like some quarterbacks the Ravens are used to facing - cough, cough, Ben Roethlisberger - and if the guys up front can collapse the pocket and force Brady to move around, they'll have a shot to get him off his game. If Brady has time to survey the field and go through his progressions, things could get ugly for the visitors.

"You don't want this guy to get into a seven-on-seven matchup with your defensive backs, especially when they have a 6-12, 260-pound tight end (Gronkowski) that runs about a 4.5 (40-yard dash)," Suggs said. "You don't want him back there just like, 'Oh, we're just going to play catch today.' You don't want him to zone in, get in his zone, so to say. So, I think pressure is going to be crucial, but it's always crucial. But, particularly when you are playing these type of quarterbacks, it's pivotal."

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