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Leach opens up Ravens running attack

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Leach opens up Ravens running attack

When Vonta Leach takes on the role of a lead blocker, he can blow open holes big enough for several Ray Rices to run through simultaneously.

Leach is quick to acknowledge that he loves to dole out hits as much as he likes to run or catch the football.

But Rice reiterated a need to incorporate the All-Pro fullback in the Ravens' game-plan by giving him more touches going forward, too.

"We just have to use him more," Rice said. "We can use him on passing situations because of the great blocker that he is. I don’t want to say when he’s in the game we know we’re running the ball. We just have to find ways to use him more and more and keep him on the field as much as we can. We will try to get as many big plays as we can when he’s out there.”

Leach only has three carries for 15 yards and one touchdown. The no-huddle offense has made him almost invisible because he isn't used as much.

After the Ravens struggled for a 9-6 victory at the Kansas City Chiefs, Rice seemed peeved that the running game went largely ignored until the final drive of the fourth quarter when he was able to run out the clock. But he made a point to highlight the sparse usage of Leach then.

In the Ravens' last game before a bye last week, they started off with the run as Rice averaged 9.0 yards per carry on the first drive but rarely went back to it in an eventual 30-point loss.

Leach downplays his desire to get more touches or the need to shift away from the no-huddle this early in the season. The Ravens haven't figured out how to make all of their pieces fit, and that includes Leach.

"You have to adjust on the fly," said Leach, noting the Ravens' problem has been with improvisation especially on the road in hostile atmospheres where they're 1-2. "It almost never happens like you plan it.

"We got to figure out a balance between our run and pass and keep the defense off balance. We got a lot of weapons on this offense. I understand that."

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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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