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Flacco says he's not pressing despite struggles

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Flacco says he's not pressing despite struggles

OWINGS MILLS - Some of the throws Joe Flacco is making this season suggest he is pressing. Flacco denies that is the case.

But when your team is 1-5? When you have thrown almost as many interceptions (seven) as touchdowns (eight)?  When your best receiver, Steve Smith, is playing with small fractures in his vertebrae? Questions about forcing throws and pressing are going to be asked.

“I don’t feel any more pressure,” Flacco insisted this week. “It’s all about coming out here on a daily basis and just making sure that we’re working those details so that come Sunday – come Monday night – that all comes naturally.

“Everybody goes out there on Sunday and makes some kind of play. I don’t necessarily think you look to do that. The opportunities present themselves and it happens. No, I don’t think I’m pressing in any way to do those things. It’s just part of it.”

However, the numbers suggest otherwise. Flacco has only thrown more than 12 interceptions once in his career, when he threw 22 in 2013. Not by coincidence, that was the only year in Flacco’s career when the Ravens failed to make the playoffs, finishing 8-8.

Here's an ominous fact for the Ravens and Flacco, heading into Monday night's game in Arizona. The Cardinals lead the NFL in interceptions with 11. If Flacco makes bad decisions and poor throws against the Cardinals, he will pay for it. But Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisted his confidence in Flacco has not waned, even in these trying times.

“You have to come out and find a way to get better to make the breaks happen,” Harbaugh said. “That’s true for every position, every player, including Joe – probably Joe more than anybody, because he’s our quarterback, and he’s our leader. If I have confidence in anybody’s ability to get that right, it’s Joe Flacco.”

[RELATED: Pitta takes next step, returns to practice with Ravens]

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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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