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5 standouts in Wednesday's OTA workout

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5 standouts in Wednesday's OTA workout

The weather felt more like September than June as the Ravens took part in their second OTA workout open to the media on Wednesday. It's still hard to get a true read on this team with so many absences -- four starting offensive linemen, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb were among those who skipped the voluntary workout. But here are five players who stood out:

* WR Kamar Aiken

Aiken ran with the first unit during many team drills and caught just about everything thrown his way. That included a tough, diving grab on a low ball from Joe Flacco, a long pass when he got behind cornerback Asa Jackson and a jump ball in the end zone. With play like that, Aiken could be a major factor in this offense.

* TE Nick Boyle

There isn't any hitting or true run blocking yet, which are both key roles for tight ends, but Boyle showed he can get open and catch the ball.  Boyle, a rookie fifth-round pick, still projects as a No. 3 tight end/special teamer behind Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams -- and that's assuming Dennis Pitta is not ready -- but injuries happen, and Boyle looks like he could contribute if called upon. And you have to think Flacco loves throwing to a fellow Delaware Blue Hen.

* S Terrence Brooks

Earlier this offseason, general manager Ozzie Newsome suggested the second-year safety would begin the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list in the wake of his season-ending knee injury in December. But Brooks took part in team drills and moved well yesterday, and he appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery.

* G Kelechi Osemele

Last week, the Ravens defensive front frequently blew through middle of the offensive line. Yesterday, they found the sledding a lot tougher, and the reason was Osemele. He looks to be in good shape and is a big step up from backups such as rookie Robert Myers.  Osemele will also be highly motivated this year, as he is set to hit free agency next offseason.

* DE Brent Urban

The defensive end missed last week's open OTA for a funeral, but at 6-foot-7, he is hard to miss when he lines up along the Ravens defensive front. Coming back from a knee injury that cost him all of last season, Urban looked good. In fact, he looked too good at least once; coach John Harbaugh sent Urban to the sideline for a couple of plays after he bore down on Flacco a little too close and celebrated a little too much. Privately, though, Harbaugh must be pleased to be see Urban moving that well.

[RELATED Injuries at WR giving others chance to shine

 

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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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