When the defense is playing better, the criticism calms down. One player who heard plenty of negative things in the first part of the season is cornerback Cary Williams.
He had problems at various points, getting beaten in different ways as the Ravens seemed like they just couldn't control passing games on a regular basis. But things have been changing in recent weeks.
The team's pass rush has slowly been awakening, mostly since the return of Terrell Suggs, something that's helped the defense control the passing game a little better. However, Williams is one of the players who's also been faring better.
Williams often got beat on downfield patters but that's slowed in recent weeks.
"I think the thing he’s been is a little more consistent, and that’s what we were looking for," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said when talking to the media on Thursday. "That’s what we didn’t have earlier in the year. I think we’d have some real good plays, and then we’d have some plays that … I’m talking about everybody, not just necessarily Cary [Williams]. I just think he’s been more consistent – feels a little bit more comfortable."
Williams looks more settled out there. The Ravens really needed him to do better due to all of the injury problems. Lardarius Webb is out for the year, and Jimmy Smith will be gone for awhile, so Williams was the cornerback who'd played the most in the last few years.
Pees said the recent improvement of Williams kind of goes along with what many on the defense have done recently.
"Just like all of them, they all have their moments," Pees said. "Nobody has played a perfect game in the 40 years that I’ve been coaching; I haven’t seen one of those. He’s just more consistent. He works hard during the week and prepares himself.”
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.”
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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