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Five takeaways from Ravens mandatory minicamp

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Five takeaways from Ravens mandatory minicamp

OWINGS MILLS – The Ravens ended their three-day mandatory minicamp Thursday, and will be off until training camp begins in late July. Here are five takeaways from this week’s practices.

1. Joe Flacco was very sharp.

Marc Trestman is Flacco’s fourth different offensive coordinator in four years. But Flacco threw the ball crisply without hesitation, and there were few signals crossed between Flacco and his wide receivers. Flacco appears to have grown very comfortable very quickly with Trestman’s offense. That’s a good sign for the Ravens.

2. Terrell Suggs has work to do.

The Ravens’ outside linebacker admitted he was not in midseason shape yet. That’s OK for now. It won’t be if OK if Suggs does not report to training camp more fit. With Haloti Ngata (Lions) and Pernell McPhee (Bears) no longer a part of the defense, Suggs will be counted on heavily, which means he needs to get a little lighter.

3. Wide receiver Jeremy Butler is a name to watch.

Butler spent last season on injured reserve, but both Joe Flacco and Steve Smith raved about how well Butler caught the ball during minicamp. The Ravens have plenty of competition at wide receiver, but if Butler keeps catching everything, he will be difficult to cut.

4. The Ravens’ running back stable looks strong.

Justin Forsett looks like he got younger, not older, during the offseason. Lorenzo Taliaferro looks quicker. And rookie Buck Allen showed good hands and good vision. Fitz Touissant and Terrence Magee also did nice work. What a difference a year makes. At this time last year, the Ravens’ top two running backs were Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. The Ravens have moved on, but are no worse for it.

5. First-round pick Breshad Perriman looks resilient.

Perriman had some drops, but he never seemed to lose confidence, never stopped working hard, and never made excuses. Perriman’s speed is impressive, as is his ability to adjust his body while the football is in the air. Even when he makes mistakes as a rookie, Perriman looks like he has the talent and toughness to make plays.

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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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