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Five things to watch in Ravens' preseason opener


Five things to watch in Ravens' preseason opener

Tonight, we get to see the Ravens in game action. They host the Saints at 7:30 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in the preseason opener. (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. on CSN+).

Clifton’s five things to watch:

1. The receivers – Many receivers have looked good in practice, so the preseason could determine who makes the roster, and how the depth chart stacks up heading into Week 1. First-round pick Breshad Perriman (knee) is not expected to play after missing 10 straight practices. So receivers like Jeremy Butler, DeAndre Carter, and Darren Waller will get extra reps, trying to convince the coaching staff that they are too talented to cut. The preseason will also help the Ravens decide if they will keep six or seven receivers, and if Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, Perriman, or someone else should be the No. 2 receiver behind Steve Smith.

2. Young tight ends – With Dennis Pitta (PUP) unavailable, whoever the Ravens go with at tight end is going to be young. Crockett Gillmore is in his second year, while Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle are both rookies. Gillmore has the inside track to start Week 1, but Williams was a playmaker at Minnesota. If Williams is going to make a case to start, this game would be a good time to start.

3. Kick returners – Even if Steve Smith and Lardarius Webb return some punts during the regular season, they won’t be doing it in this game.  So for return candidates like Michael Campanaro and Carter, this is a chance to break one and become the frontrunner for the job.

4. Matt Schaub – He should see plenty of action at quarterback, with Joe Flacco only expected to play a snap or two. Schaub has thrown more than his share of interceptions during practice. If he looks good, he will reduce concern about the backup quarterback situation.

5. The pass rush – Losing outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata during the offseason has raised concern about the Ravens’ pass rush. Don’t expect to see Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs to see much action. So we’ll how much pressure the Ravens get on the Saints’ quarterbacks, and where the pass rush comes from. Keep an eye on rookie outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, a fourth-round pick who has potential as a pass rusher.

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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.