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Defense had troubles before injuries also

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Defense had troubles before injuries also

Just like many of the team's fans, the Ravens' defense hopes to see improvement after the break.

But the defense also realizes something some people might have forgotten. They were having some problems before all of the injuries took place and cost the team some key players.

Many have focused on the losses of linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb and the subsquent poor performance in the loss at Houston before the break as reason for concern. And that's understandable. But the Ravens had troubles on defense before the injuries to Lewis and Webb.

When talking with the media last week, linebacker Jameel McClain, who's basically stepping in for Lewis, said the issues that are there now are things they were dealing with before.

"It is a similar mindset, with those guys or without those guys. No disrespect to them or no way for anybody to take this out of context, but those yards were given up while they were in there," McClain said. "This is a problem that was happening with them, and it’s a problem that’s happening without them. It’s something that we have to fix right there."

The Houston game probably just came at the wrong time. There's no question that the Texans are one of the top teams in the NFL, but for the Ravens to run into them the week after losing two key players on defense wasn't good, and Houston was ready for them.

That game simply showcased some of the problems the defense has been having so far this season. Now they'll be working on fixing all of that. 

"They’re two phenomenal players, amazing players and great for this organization," McClain said about Lewis and Webb. "It’s just something, right now, that we have to focus on as a defense, and what we have in front of us, and get it corrected.”

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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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