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Flacco has big contract, but Trestman holds the key


Flacco has big contract, but Trestman holds the key

The Ravens crossed offseason objective No. 1 off their list yesterday when Joe Flacco signed a three-year contract extension.

And, for a change, he'll actually be working with the same offensive coordinator again.

Flacco has worked with four offensive coordinators since 2012 -- Cam Cameron, Jim Caldwell, Gary Kubiak and Marc Trestman -- and in 2014 and again last year, Flacco arrived at OTAs needing to learn the nuances of the new guy in the OC chair.

Now Trestman is back for Year Two, and it stands to reason that he and Flacco should more quickly find a rhythm that works for both.  The relationship between these two will be one of the keys for the Ravens going forward.

Flacco didn't look all that comfortable early in his first season with Trestman, and the Ravens stumbled to a 1-6 start, though their problems ranged far deeper than any growing pains between Trestman and Flacco.

RELATED: Newsome credits Joe Flacco for huge part in Ravens' success

All the Ravens' offensive numbers from last year should come with an asterisk based on injuries. Even with a revolving door at quarterback after Flacco's injury, and with a revolving door at receiver, the Ravens averaged 266.9 passing yards a game, a franchise record. But they also set a franchise-record low with just 383 rushes. Was that a function of Trestman's offense? His penchant for abandoning the run? The injury to Justin Forsett? Or simply the fact that the Ravens were losing in so many games that they needed to go to the air late?

Flacco finished 2015 with 2,791 passing yards -- putting him on pace for what would have been the first 4,000-yard season of his career. And that was despite losing Steve Smith and missing rookie Breshad Perriman all season.

But to be clear, the Ravens don't want to be a team that chucks the ball around 60 times. They want a run-pass balance, and coach John Harbaugh acknowledged as much after the season: "I feel like we need to run the ball more, but we need to run the ball better. ... Running the football is... it’s our identity," Harbaugh said at the 'State of the Ravens' news conference in January.

Don't think Harbaugh won't remind Trestman of that, either. So it will be up to Trestman to find that balance.

Still, for all the Ravens issues, they ranked 14th in total offense last season. They will hope to improve on that with a healthy, improved receiving corps, with a healthy Flacco, and with Flacco and Trestman working together for a second year.

MORE RAVENS: 5 reasons why Flacco deal, though pricey, was right for Ravens

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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.


“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

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.