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Pees: Defensive play 'makes me sick'

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Pees: Defensive play 'makes me sick'

On Wednesday, Ravens safety Bernard Pollard tried to deflect criticism for the Ravens' subpar defensive play away from defensive coordinator Dean Pees, saying, in part,  "Don't blame the coach. Don't blame the coach, because the coach doesn't play."

The next day, Pees pointed a finger squarely at himself, saying the coaches bear responsibility for lapses in fundamentals and overall defensive play recently that "makes me sick."

The Ravens have surrendered more than 200 rushing yards in back-to-back games for the first time in franchise history and rank 26th in the league in both total defense and against the run.

"An old coach told me a long time ago 'Nothing happens by circumstance. There's a reason for everything.'" Pees said. "So you gotta look at it and find it."

And looking at things closely over the past week, Pees said much of the problem boils down to fundamentals.

"One of the things we gotta do ... it's the players, but it's the staff just as much, and it falls on me, is just do better fundamentals," Pees said.

"It isn't about the calls. If you don't play the call fundamentally correct, it doesn't really matter what the call is, whether it's a pressure, not a pressure, three-man rush, four-man rush, five-man rush,  it does not matter.  So we gotta get better at technique, and it's the same thing when it comes to missed tackles, which we had a bunch of in the last game. That's technique, and we gotta do a better job of coaching it throughout the entire practice."

Pees said he appreciated Pollard sticking up for him and pointed that out in a defensive meeting.

"Yes, it's the players that gotta go out there and make the tackles," Pees said. "But you know what? It's up to the coaches to No. 1, for me as coordinator, to put them in a position to make the tackles. That's No. 1. And then no. 2, if we see something (bad) in practice ... that's on us as coaches to stop it right there. That wasn't good enough. That wasn't good enough. We gotta come back and do it."

"If you allow it to happen, then when it happens in the game, don't blame the player for that. You had a chance to correct it during the week and didn't get it corrected."

It would be easy to use injuries as an excuse, with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs (Achilles) out all season thus far, and now injuries to linebackers Ray Lewis (torn tricpes) and Lardarius Webb (knee) likely ending their seasons as well.

Pees, though, said the talent is there even without those three.

" We have enough talent to succeed. We just have to play better."

If there is a silver lining, it's that despite the defensive woes, the Ravens sit at 5-1 and are tied for the AFC's best record.

"I'm happy as I can be to be 5-1, but I also feel fortunate to be 5-1 the way we're playing on defense," Pees said.  "Let's be honest, OK? We're not playing well enough. To say it any other way would sound like a political debate."

 

 

 

 

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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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