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Frustrated defensive coordinator Pees hopes better play on horizon

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Frustrated defensive coordinator Pees hopes better play on horizon

OWINGS MILLS – A frustrated Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees gave a straightforward assessment of his unit Thursday, as he tried to find answers before Sunday’s game against the 49ers. Both Pees and his players have been targets for criticism. Pees knows it won’t stop until the Ravens stop giving up huge chunks of yardage and late leads.

“The thing with us is we are our own worst enemy,” Pees said. “Right now, is not about San Francisco, and it wasn’t about Cleveland. It’s about us.”

The Ravens gave up 37 points to the Raiders, 33 points to the Browns, and are giving up 27.4 points per game, more than all but six teams in the NFL.

Pees gave an example of the kind of mistakes the Ravens are making. They called a blitz against the Browns in the second quarter Sunday that worked, forcing quarterback Josh McCown to throw the ball away on third down. So Pees called the same blitz later in the game, and McCown didn’t recognize it again. Only this time, the blitzing player didn’t run through the gap he was supposed to, even though he had done it earlier. So the blitz didn’t get to McCown, even though he didn’t anticipate it coming.

“That’s our inconsistency,” Pees said, not naming the player who had erred. “It’s not panic. It’s not,’Ok, we have to change the scheme.’ We don’t have to do anything. We just have to learn to do the same things all the time.

“We would have sacked him (McCown), because he wasn’t even looking for the guy. It’s all of our faults. It’s not just that guy’s fault. Somehow, even as coaches, we just have to make it right.”

The Ravens may be shorthanded defensively Sunday, with outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (thigh), cornerback Lardarius Webb (thigh), safety Terrence Brooks (thumb), and defensive end Chris Canty (calf) all nursing injuries. However, Pees wants no excuses, even if rookies like defensive tackle Carl Davis and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith have to play increased reps.

“I know we’re a young team, but young is all relative,” Pees said. “We’re not young anymore. We’re into the season. We’ve had OTA’s. We’ve had training camp. I’m tired with young.

“We can also say, ‘This guy is out, that guys is out.’ I don’t care.”

The final word from Pees was that he wanted players to be decisive Sunday.

“Let it go,” Pees said. “Don’t play cautious.

‘I’m not blaming it on players, I’m blaming it on us. We have to drive it home to them, to make them believe they can do it.”

At 1-4, if the defense doesn’t improve quickly for the Ravens, it will be too late.

MORE RAVENS: Marc Trestman on upcoming 49ers matchup with Brent Harris

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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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