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Can Ravens' run defense be strong minus Ngata?


Can Ravens' run defense be strong minus Ngata?

The Ravens’ “next man up” philosophy will be tested this coming season the most in one particular area — run defense.

Haloti Ngata, a rock in the interior of the Ravens defensive line for nine seasons, is gone to the Detroit Lions. Can the team still put up a formidable front against opposing rushing attacks? The question was put to ESPN.com’s AFC North correspondents.

Jeremy Fowler, who covers the Pittsburgh Steelers, answers in the affirmative, citing tackle Brandon Williams, who already has proven himself a capable run disrupter. Williams was ranked among the NFL’s top 10 at his position in stopping the run in a couple of measures by Pro Football Focus, and he may find himself being used on first, second and third downs with Ngata’s departure.

Cleveland Browns reporter Pat McManamon also mentions Williams’ presence while giving a more qualified yes to the question. Though Ngata was so accomplished, keep a couple of things in mind: The Ravens did fine while he was suspended for four games last season, and general manager Ozzie Newsome has proven adept at knowing just when to let veteran players go.

Coley Harvey, who covers the Cincinnati Bengals, says the Ravens will get back to being a top 10 run defense, but not this season. Tim Jernigan will be adapting to a bigger role in 2015, and it may take him a year to establish himself. After that, though, it likely will be business as usual for Baltimore’s run defense.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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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.


“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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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.