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On O-line, left brain and right brain

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On O-line, left brain and right brain

There have been occasional rumblings about shuffling around members of the Ravens offensive line. Maybe we have assumed that changing someone from left to right or vice versa isn’t necessarily that big an adjustment. The Ravens made the move with Michael Oher, putting him at right tackle after he’d  been a left tackle in college and then moving him back to left tackle.

But the change isn’t just like flipping a switch, as Vikings guard Geoff Schwartz told Pro Football Focus.

““It’s very difficult for guys to be able to effectively play on both sides of the line without long hours practicing it. … You don’t often see linemen switching sides of the ball for injury or performance,” he said. “Playing offensive line is a very technical position. Being a great athlete and a physical player can only take you so far if you don’t use proper technique. You must drill over and over again to get the footwork and hand placement down. On top of that, mentally switching things over in your head can be tough at first. You’re used to reacting to movement on one side of the line of scrimmage, now it’s happening on the opposite side.”

So when it comes to designating the backups, the left and right come into play.

“If you look at most lines, the backup LT is the LG, or he’s on the bench,” Schwartz said. “Both teams I’ve played on, our backup LT was the LG.”

Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth said: “I really believe a lot of guys are more efficient at one side or the other. Sure, most tackles are good players and can play both sides, but usually there is a vast difference in how technical or athletic they are one side to the other.”

So maybe it’s not quite the same as an American trying to drive in England, but you get the idea.

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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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