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Newsome hard on himself, focused on having superb draft


Newsome hard on himself, focused on having superb draft

OWINGS MILLS – At Tuesday’s pre-draft press conference, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and assistant general manager Eric DeCosta conceded it was fair to second-guess some of the team’s recent draft choices. 

The 2013 draft has been singled out for criticism, when the Ravens picked safety Matt Elam in the first round, and linebacker Arthur Brown in the second round. Neither has lived up to expectations.

The Ravens can’t afford misses at the top of year’s draft. Not coming off a 5-11 season. Not with the No. 6 pick overall, and with seven picks in the first four rounds.

Newsome has a long track record to be proud off, as the architect of two Super Bowl winning teams. However, Newsome is still pushing himself to be better.


“I would say it’s not up to my standards and not up to Eric’s standards and not up to the Ravens’ standards when you compare it to what we did very early on,” Newsome said of recent drafts.

Of course, Newsome set the bar high from the start.  With the first two picks in franchise history in 1996, Newsome took left tackle Jonathan Ogden (No. 4), followed by linebacker Ray Lewis (No. 26). Ogden is already in the Hall of Fame, and Lewis will be. Drafting safety Ed Reed with the 24th pick in 2002 was another masterful move.

The Ravens need to find immediate help in this draft, like they did in 2015, when inside linebacker C. J. Mosley (17th pick) made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. DeCosta believes the Ravens are ready to cash in.

“Honestly, I’m proud of our draft classes,” DeCosta said. “We have won the Super Bowl fairly recently (three years ago). We made the playoffs a lot of years. You look at all those draft classes, with the exception of one, we’ve had at least two or three quality starters. I think we’ll get back to being a really good team soon.”

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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.