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Just how good are special teams?


Just how good are special teams?

Given that the Ravens won in a rout, it is difficult to assess where they stand with special teams except that rookie kicker Justin Tucker was near perfect.

Tucker made all three field-goal attempts and forced six touchbacks in nine kickoffs vs. the Bengals.

Coach Jerry Rosburg used undrafted rookie Deonte Thompson on kickoffs as he had four returns from an average of 22 yards each. On punts, Jacoby Jones and Lardarius Webb each had one return for nine yards each.

"We didn't have a lot of opportunities in our punt return game. We had out defensive 'stay' unit out there twice, and Lardarius made a nice play because we had an opportunity at a few yards," Rosburg said. "But those situations were really just making sure we had the ball back at the end of the play.

"We had a lead. It was a fake situation so we left our defense out there."

It doesn't appear the Ravens will settle on one punt returner.

"The way I look at it is we have two guys that both have punt return skills, and we'll use them both," Rosburg said. "They both have scored and can score touchdowns, so having two returners rather than one is a benefit."

Asa Jackson, who was sick and didn't play vs. Cincinnati, was back taking reps in practice so Rosburg could have even more options.

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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

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.