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Bengals actual home of West Coast offense

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Bengals actual home of West Coast offense

As detailed in a terrific history lesson presented by NFL.com, the West Coast offense that took over the league in the 1980s and propelled Bill Walsh and the San Francisco 49ers to football immortality could have been — should have been — celebrated as the Ohio River offense.

Walsh, then an assistant to legendary Cincinnati Bengals coach Paul Brown, developed the offense out of necessity. During a stellar rookie season in 1969, quarterback Greg Cook suffered a torn rotator cuff, in the days before the injury could be satisfactorily repaired. Cook’s replacement the next season was Virgil Carter, who had a much weaker arm than Cook.

So Walsh installed a short passing game that relied more on timing and quickness than over-the-top arm strength.

"I can always remember Bill Walsh's big comment, and he made it more than once," former Bengals guard and current color commentator Dave Lapham said. " 'When you gain four yards on the ground against a defense, they think you're kicking their ass. When you gain four yards in the passing game against a defense, they think they're kicking your ass. Four yards is four yards. I'll take it any way I can get it.' And that was his whole concept. The idea of that short, controlled passing game as an extension of the running game."

However, Walsh wasn’t destined to fully implement his vision as a head coach in Cincinnati. Brown didn’t believe Walsh’s personality fit the head man’s mold and chose Bill Johnson to succeed him when Brown gave up coaching. Walsh left the Bengals for the San Diego Chargers and Stanford before being hired to direct the 49ers.

And thus the Ohio River offense ended up being forever known popularly as the West Coast offense.

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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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