Just how good is this Ravens defense?
On paper, it still should be formidable even without 2011 Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs.
Earlier in the week, after the first unit was shredded by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones, emotions boiled over as the Ravens fought among themselves at training camp.
Dean Pees is the new defensive coordinator after Chuck Pagano left to be head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, but not much is expected to change. Some key players such as Ray Lewis, 37, and Ed Reed, 33, may be older, but safety Bernard Pollard insists too much emphasis is being put on their age.
A strong showing vs. the Detroit Lions on Friday night, the Ravens' first home preseason game, could go a long way to quieting the chatter at least for now.
"Were going to be really good. Suggs is doing everything to get back as quick as he can. We want him to be 100 percent when he comes back. The guys we have in our defense now have to step up," Pollard told CSNBaltimore.com. "That's the name of the game...We've got some guys who are eager to show the city of Baltimore they're ready to play some football.
"It's going to be a lot of fun. Ray (Lewis) is playing at a high level right now. The dude is a freak of nature. You look at Ed Reed. Everybody's talking about how old we are. We have a young defense. We're rolling around. We're having a blast out there. DP is doing a good job of knowing what we're capable of and having that mind-set to put us in the right position to use all his weapons -- like Chuck did. No difference. Not at all."
The Ravens' inactive list vs. the Lions includes receiver David Reed, linebackers Josh Bynes, Darryl Blackstock and Suggs, tackle Jah Reid, tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta and tackle Ryan McBean.
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.”
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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