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Pierce starts strong then fizzles


Pierce starts strong then fizzles

ST. LOUIS -- With his first three carries, Bernard Pierce had 27 yards.

On his next five, he netted zero.

Getting his first start in the final game of the preseason, that was the extent of his contribution Thursday vs. the St. Louis Rams.

"You're supposed to prepare like starter even though you're not a starter," Pierce said. "Same mentality. Same everything. Nothing changed.

"I played alright. I could've (done) better."

Limited by a hamstring injury during training camp, Pierce is rounding into form as the runner that coach John Harbaugh evnvisioned when the Ravens moved up in the draft to select him in the third round. He'll likely be the No. 2 back behind Ray Rice.

"The hamstring is getting healthier. We're starting to see a little more of what he's capable of doing," Harbaugh said.

After getting out to a fast start, the Rams' first-string defense slowed down the run.

"They're more fundaentally sound than any second team I've played so far. It's definitely a good eye-opener," Pierce said. "But as far as my performance against them I think that I have room to up my level of play.

"They started changing the defense up. They started playing wider and they started trying to get the three technique up field. Once that happened they actually shut off the outside."

The Ravens were held to 82 yards on 22 carries.

Once Pierce is healthy, he's certain he'll have an even better explosion. Thursday represented progress.

"My hamstring has gotten a lot better," he said. "I'm able to run the way I like to run."

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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.


“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.