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Aggressive coverage bothers receivers

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Aggressive coverage bothers receivers

The receivers are supposed to be linchpin to opening up the Ravens' long-dormant offense.

Until they prove they can beat press coverage, however, maybe expectations have to be dialed down.

For the second time this season, in a 9-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week, they appeared to have trouble beating press coverage from physical defensive backs.

"I don't think it was an issue. It's football. We got great DBs we work on the press every other day with," said Jacoby Jones, who didn't have a catch against Kansas City. "It's all about the timing and the meshing with the offense."

Against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2, the Ravens blew a 10-point lead in that 24-23 loss as they failed to score a touchdown in the second half. Then, they blamed it on replacement referees not calling illegal contact after five yards which didn't permit receivers to get free. 

Against the Chiefs, the receivers never found the end zone. Kansas City also employed a Cover 1 scheme, which means they only use one deep safety as opposing cornerbacks are at the line of scrimmage to bump receivers off their routes. 

The regular refs are back now, so the claim of illegal contact can't be an excuse. Torrey Smith and Jones have blazing speed, but they combined to make three catches against Kansas City. 

"We have to handle that. We are getting pressed, getting Cover 1 for the most part in this game. It’s the same thing that they gave us two years ago in the playoff game, and we did a much better job with it," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, alluding to a 30-7 win over the Chiefs for the 2010 season. 

Of course, the Ravens also dropped passes in Sunday's game which didn't help the offensive flow, either. 

"We were in bunch routes. We did have motions to stacks. We did that sort of thing. The drops were a big part of that," Harbaugh said. "We threw a number of fade routes. We threw a couple wheel routes."

Dallas has has a solid defensive backfield, notably rookie Morris Claiborne and veteran Brandon Carr at cornerback.  

"People are willing to match their corners up, and we just need to take advantage of that and make some plays," Harbaugh said. "That’s what our guys want to do.”

Jones is in his first season with Baltimore but feels fully acclimated into the offense. 

"I'm on the same page with him. We're good," Jones said of his relationship with Flacco. "I love to be pressed. You miss, it's over."

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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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