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Breaking down first Ravens depth chart

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Breaking down first Ravens depth chart

The Ravens have released their first official depth chart of 2015 in advance of Thursday's preseason opener against the Saints. Granted, this might as well be written in pencil, and a lot can change between now and when the final 53-man roster is set, but there are a few things that stand out.

* At wide receiver, Steve Smith Sr. and Kamar Aiken are listed as the starters, with rookie Breshad Perriman and Marlon Brown as top backups. Perriman might ultimately be the Week 1 starter in September, but he hasn't practiced since Day 1 of training camp because of a knee injury. Brown (back) too has been hobbled. Michael Campanaro and Jeremy Butler are listed as third-string, but both have been impressive -- and healthy -- thus far in camp. And beyond those six, there is some talent, with 6-foot-6 Darren Waller, DeAndre Carter and a few others. Tough choices loom here.

* Kapron Lewis-Moore is listed as the top backup at defensive tackle, but he has not been running much with the top two units. Brent Urban is listed as a third-stringer, and John Harbaugh lashed out at him yesterday, but don't be fooled; Urban is going to be a factor this year. Urban, Lawrence Guy and Carl Davis all should make this team. Injuries might dictate how many defensive linemen the Ravens keep, but Lewis-Moore, who has missed two full seasons with injuries, and DeAngelo Tyson would appear to be very much on the bubble.

* Arthur Brown is listed ahead of Zach Orr at inside linebacker, but that's not how it's been playing out on the field. Orr has been getting more reps with the 1s and 2s, and he appears to be in the No. 2 position along with Albert McClellan. Orr is already a stronger special teams player than Brown, and Orr looked good yesterday moving laterally in run defense. This preseason might be Brown's last, best chance to show the Ravens something.

* Ravens fans no doubt recall Rashaan Melvin being picked on by Tom Brady in the playoffs, but the Ravens like his size (6-2) and his toughness. He seems to be ahead of Asa Jackson as a backup corner, and Quinton Pointer is making a strong bid to make the team.

* At safety, Bryden Trawick would appear to be the biggest beneficiary with the season-ending injury to Matt Elam. Trawick is now listed as the backup strong safety -- Elam's former spot -- and undrafted rookie Nick Perry suddenly has a much better shot of making this team.

* Asa Jackson is listed as the top punt returner, with Michael Campanaro as the top kick returner. Rookie DeAndre Carter is also listed, but the Ravens will audition more than those three. These jobs are still up for grabs.

 

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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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