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Philip Rivers and Steve Smith: A meeting of trash-talkers

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Philip Rivers and Steve Smith: A meeting of trash-talkers

Steve Smith and Philip Rivers will be on opposite sidelines Sunday, but they share similar personalities. Both are fiery competitors. Both love to talk trash.

When the Ravens (1-6) host the Chargers (2-5) on Sunday (1 p.m.) at M&T Bank Stadium, you can count on seeing passion from the Chargers’ quarterback and from the Ravens’ top receiver. Both play wearing their emotions on their sleeve. And that’s part of what makes them so good.

Stopping Rivers is the focal point of the Ravens’ defensive game plan for Sunday.  Watching Rivers on film reminds Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees of game-planning for Smith when he played for the Panthers.

If the Ravens trash-talk Rivers, it will be against Pees’ advice.

“Rivers is a very, very competitive guy, so he always wants to have that last word,” Pees said. “Let me use a guy on our team that I think is like that – Steve Smith Sr. I used to tell our guys when we’d play Carolina, ‘Don’t make him mad. All you’re going to do is make him play harder, and you’re not going to like the results. Just leave him alone. Let him spin the ball and walk away.’ I really think Rivers is a lot like that. I think the more you try to get in his face – the more you try to do any of that – I think he actually loves it. I think he thrives on it a little bit.”

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Ravens linebacker C. J. Mosley played against Rivers for the first time last season, and still remembers.

“He threw a pick to Buck (Daryl Smith), and he walked up to Buck and was talking smack to him,” Mosley said. “That was a little funny.”

However, trying to stop Rivers is no laughing matter. He led the Chargers to a comeback victory at M&T last year, throwing two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. On Sunday, the Ravens hope to keep Rivers from having the last word. The Chargers are thinking the same thing about Smith.

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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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