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Kruger continues to grow, gives Ravens a lift on D

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Kruger continues to grow, gives Ravens a lift on D

Paul Kruger made a great deflection and interception in Sunday's rout of Oakland that helped the Ravens score three points. Kruger got his hands up to deflect a Carson Palmer pass and then catch it for the interception.

"I just put my hands up and the ball just happened to bounce the right way," he said afterwards. "Luckily the ball fell down, right into my hands. It's just kind of one of those plays that comes your way."

That play showed his athleticism and why the Ravens are hoping for big things from Kruger.

He's big but quick and can move and do a lot of different things. Kruger struggled earlier this season and battled through some injury trouble, but is he finally starting to do what the rest of the defense appears to be doing -- settling into place?

Kruger also finished with two sacks on Sunday, one of which came when Palmer simply fell down, and he was the first person to touch him. The good thing is that was the kind of game where Kruger made plays that made a difference, something the Ravens need more of all the way through the defense.

But the Ravens have played much better on defense the past two weeks since the break. Yes, they were only going up against the Browns and Raiders, two of the AFC's lesser teams, but the Ravens were flying to the football and making the kind of plays that can turn things around in a game. 

And Kruger was one of those players.   

“I think a lot of guys are really starting to come around, and this defense is starting to gel together," Kruger said. "Things are kind of rolling our way. It’s just a matter of us putting the right things together, and trying to make plays. We did that [in this game], and I think it’s going to keep getting better.”

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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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