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3 defensive issues arise for Ravens in loss to Redskins

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3 defensive issues arise for Ravens in loss to Redskins

BALTIMORE -- Ravens defensive end Chris Canty summed up his team’s defensive performance Saturday night in one word.

“Lackluster,” Canty said, following a 31-13 loss to the Redskins. 

In three preseason games, the Ravens are surrendering an average of 33 points per game. They have given up 100 yards rushing against the Saints, 238 yards rushing against the Eagles, and 111 yards rushing against the Redskins. 

The Ravens’ second string and third string units yielded most of that yardage, and defensive coordinator Dean Pees hasn't shown his hand yet.  However, the Ravens can’t be lured into thinking that the defensive light switch will turn on automatically Week 1 against the Broncos.

“We’ve got a lot of things to clean up,” Canty said. “Defensively, we’ve got to find a way to stop the run. We’ve got to find a way to create some turnovers. We’ve got to find a way to put pressure on the passer. Those are just things that we did not do well tonight. Those are things that have been our trademark, our calling card, so to speak, the last couple of years.”

Here are three potential problems for the Ravens’ defense:

1.  Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan’s health.

Jernigan left Saturday night’s game with a knee injury Saturday night, and coach John Harbaugh said he did not have an update at his post-game press conference. The loss of Jernigan for Week 1 would leave the Ravens with another void to fill defensively, both against the run and the pass. 

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2  Outside cornerback depth

Lardarius Webb (hamstring) did not play Saturday, David Greenwood was helped off the field late with a knee injury, and rookie Tray Walker had a rough night, giving up one TD pass and missing a tackle that led to another TD. Rashaan Melvin started in place of Webb and did a decent job. But despite the offseason additions of cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Cassius Vaughn, Jimmy Smith and Webb remain crucial to the secondary because of their one-on-one coverage skills outside the numbers. If Webb isn’t 100 percent by Week 1, expect Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning to find some mismatches to his liking.

3. The pass rush

Terrell Suggs made an outstanding interception Saturday night, and both he and linebacker Elvis Dumervil look ready for Week 1. But despite having those two elite edge rushers, will the Ravens but as much pressure on opposing quarterbacks as last season, especially if Jernigan misses significant time?

The Ravens will spend the next two weeks addressing those issues. But so far this preseason, their offense has looked ahead of their defense.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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