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The defense good but far from perfect

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The defense good but far from perfect

The defense had a great second half in Mondays rout of the Bengals, but as Ray Lewis said afterwards, they werent perfect.
Nor should they expect to be that way. Due to the way things are in the NFL, teams and rosters change every season. Teams look and play differently from year to year. In the old days, the Ravens probably wouldnt have made many changes at all in recent years. But those days are gone.
The Ravens, as has been noted many times, lost some key players to free agency. They lost Terrell Suggs to an injury. And they looked a little off in the first half Monday night before pulling together in the second half.
Can you replace Terrell Suggs? Absolutely not, you dont even look to replace a Terrell Suggs, Lewis said afterwards. But, you can get a young Paul Kruger and you can get a younger Courtney Upshaw to start picking up his level of play.
Lewis said the contributions from all those places are reasons the team found some success on defense Monday night. Coach John Harbaugh talked after the game about how the Bengals were able to run the ball a little too effectively, especially in the first half.
But that started to change in the second half. They made a big stop and then forced two turnovers that turned the game around. Thats been their secret for years. The defense not only makes plays, but they come up with big ones at the right time. It's uncanny.
Overall, the defense gave a pretty good performance in the season opener. The run defense needs to get better, and Lewis talked after the game about those saying the Baltimore defense might be too old.
For the record, Lewis led everyone with 14 tackles, and Ed Reed returned an Andy Dalton pass for a TD after picking it off.
People talk about Ed aging, and people talk about my age, Lewis said. But our numbers speak for themselves when we talk about where we will be when this game is over individually and as a defense.

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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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