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Five Ravens who need to step up after the bye

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Five Ravens who need to step up after the bye

The Ravens never expected to be 2-6 at the bye. Will they fare better, or worse, in the second half of the season, now that wide receiver Steve Smith (torn Achilles) has been lost for the year? Here are five Ravens who have underperformed in the first half of the season who need to step up:

- Kyle Arrington, CB

The Ravens hoped they were getting a consistent nickel corner when they signed Arrington as a free agent. Instead, Arrington has struggled at times sticking with receivers and assignments in traffic. Shareece Wright, who was not signed until last month, has already supplanted Arrington as the third corner behind Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. The Ravens are still thin at cornerback, so it would help their secondary if Arrington stepped up his play.

- Marlon Brown, WR

Hard to believe Brown had seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2013, but no touchdowns since. The Ravens have been waiting for the rookie version of Brown to reappear, but so far it hasn’t happened. Brown has just 13 catches for 106 yards this season, despite numerous opportunities. If Brown’s production doesn’t pick up, his future with the Ravens will clearly be in doubt.

- Timmy Jernigan, DT

The Ravens hoped Jernigan would take his play to another level after Haloti Ngata’s departure, but that hasn’t materialized yet. However, Jernigan looked more active Week 8 against the Chargers and may be in line for a strong November and December if he stays healthy. Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams is having a Pro Bowl caliber year. If Jernigan needs an example to follow, he simply needs to look at Williams.

- Eugene Monroe, LT

Staying healthy has been a problem the last two years for Monroe, and the Ravens have not gotten what they expected when he signed a five-year, $37.5 million deal last year. The Ravens need Monroe in the lineup and playing solid football, protecting Joe Flacco’s blind side.

- Jimmy Smith, CB

Smith may not be fully recovered from last year’s foot injury, which makes it more difficult to take chances and play aggressively. Despite being beaten for a few big plays this season, Smith remains talented enough to be one of the NFL’s top corners. That’s the Smith the Ravens need.

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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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