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Harbaugh: "We'd like to run the ball more"

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Harbaugh: "We'd like to run the ball more"

Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said that one of the coaching staff's "projects" during the bye week would be working on the Ravens running game, but then against the Jaguars, the Ravens came out and all but ignored the running game early once again.

The Ravens ran 33 offensive plays in the first half against Jacksonville -- 28 passes and five runs, and one of the runs was a 16-yard scramble by Joe Flacco that was supposed to be a pass. So on 29 of the Ravens 33 offensive snaps in the first half -- and 17 of 18 in the second quarter -- the Ravens dropped back to pass.

If that sounds familiar, it should; against San Diego the week before the bye, the Ravens threw on 11 of 12 second-quarter snaps (not counting a late kneel-down by Flacco).

It's a curious play distribution given that running back Justin Forsett and the veteran offensive line was viewed as a strength of the offense, and that the injury to Steve Smith Sr. has left the Ravens with a highly unproven cast of wide receivers.

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"The run game is something to talk about," Harbaugh said at his Monday news conference. "We were looking at it hard this morning, this afternoon, with the coaches. Early in the game, we’re a block here and a block there away from popping runs. But a block here and a block there doesn’t get it done."

"We’d like to run the ball more; there’s no question," he later added.

Harbaugh said he was pleased with how the passing game "made strides," against the Jaguars, but he acknowledged that the Ravens "could have called a few more runs" in the first half. He explained that the Jaguars, who boast a top-10 run defense, were crowding eight players within 4 or 5 yards of the line of scrimmage Plus, Harbaugh said, the final drive of the half was a two-minute drill that relied on passing.

The Ravens attempted just four rushes (not counting Flacco's scramble) in the first half. Justin Forsett ran two times for 2 yards, and Buck Allen ran twice for 1.

"In the first half, we weren’t getting much," Harbaugh said. "If we could have converted a couple more first downs there, you would have seen more runs. It’s something we had planned on doing. We were going to run it at them anyway, but we just didn’t get the opportunities that we wanted to.”

Forsett finished with 53 yards on 14 carries.

"We had some nice runs in the second half," Harbaugh said.

Overall this year, the Ravens rank 23rd in the league in rushing with 98.1 yards a game. Their yardage per carry (4.01) ranks 18th. Last year the Ravens averaged 126.2 yards, which ranked 8th.

Despite the disappearance of the run game at times, Forsett has 615 yards through nine games and is on pace to top 1,000 yards for the second straight year.

"We just have to stick with it," Forsett said after Sunday's game, "and we have to execute when the runs are called.”

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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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