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Brown: Ravens can't abandon throwing deep ball

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Brown: Ravens can't abandon throwing deep ball

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Ravens shouldn’t concede they don’t have a deep passing game anymore, just because they don’t have a healthy Breshad Perriman, their fastest wide receiver.

Deep passes need to be part of their game plan. Not just Sunday against the Raiders, but from this point forward.

Joe Flacco attempted just one pass longer than 20 yards during a Week 1 loss in Denver. That’s like taking a Ferrari on the freeway and doing 55.

Flacco has one of the best arms in football. Let him use it. Challenge cornerbacks. Stretch the defense. Flacco said as much after Wednesday’s practice in California, and he was right.

“We need to take our shots,” Flacco said. “If nothing else, and least let teams know we’re going to do that and have the confidence in ourselves in doing that.

“It’s tough to maintain 15-play drives consistently and score points, so we’re going to have that as part of our game.”

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It’s time for a more aggressive game plan from new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. The Ravens are still looking for their first offensive touchdown of the season. They are ranked 32nd offensively in the league through Week 1, dead last.

Not an impressive Ravens debut for Trestman. But the responsibility to crank up the offense doesn’t just fall on the play calling. It’s on the offensive line to protect Flacco better. It’s on the Ravens’ pass-catchers to win more battles when the ball is in the air. And it’s on Flacco to throw the ball more accurately.

Perriman didn’t practice Wednesday, and it’s still unclear when he’s coming back from his knee injury. The Ravens can’t afford to wait on Perriman to get to the deep passing chapters in their playbook.

Flacco must take occasional shots downfield to Steve Smith, Marlon Brown, and Kamar Aiken this Sunday. None of them are as fast as Perriman. But even if they don’t get separation, give them a chance to win jump balls. Perhaps draw a pass interference penalty. And stretching the Raiders’ defense should create more room for receivers to work underneath routes.

“I don’t think we’re going to have that guy right now that’s going to run by guys five times a game, but we definitely have guys that can run crossing routes and be hit 30 yards downfield and can run double moves downfield, things like that. That’s what we’re going to have to do.”

If the Ravens play as poorly offensively in Week 2 as they did in Week 1, they are capable of losing Sunday at Oakland. That would make the Ravens 0-2 for first time under John Harbaugh. And that would make this opening road trip West a colossal failure, especially when you consider that linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles injury) has already been lost for the season.

The Ravens have already gone West. On Sunday, it’s time for their offense to go deep a little more often.

MORE RAVENS: Raiders coach expects QB Carr to start vs. Ravens

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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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