OWINGS MILLS - Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks has been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer, he acknowledged publicly Monday through the team's website. The 64-year-old Brooks recently completed chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and has been scheduled to have a tumor removed from his esophagus in late January or early February. Brooks missed both Monday night road games this season undergoing treatment.
Brooks is the team’s longest-tenured coach (11 seasons) and perhaps the most popular coach among players. He mixes tough coaching with a sense of humor, and young defensive tackles Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan have talked about Brooks, who they call “C. B.”, as being instrumental in their development.
MORE RAVENS: FLACCO'S KNEE SURGERY SCHEDULED
“Clarence Brooks found out that he was going to have to deal with this cancer issue early on in the season,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday at his press conference. “He shared it with the team. Nobody said a word about it to anybody because it was a family matter. That’s the way he wanted it. He’s been getting chemotherapy and his radiation treatments three days a week.
“Clarence Brooks, he’s the best defensive line coach I’ve ever seen. I’ve been around some good ones. He gets on them, he’s demanding, he asks for their very best, he’s very clear in what he wants. He’s not accepting no for an answer. He’s not accepting can’t. Can’t, won’t, don’t. …those are not options. And when it’s not done exactly right man, you hear him going off down there on those guys. And they love it. Because I think they know he cares so much about them.”
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.
MORE RAVENS: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT RAVENS ROUNDUP 3.0
“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.
RELATED: OFFENSIVE FREE AGENTS RAVENS SHOULD BE TARGETING