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Ravens secondary hopes to build on Pittsburgh performance

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Ravens secondary hopes to build on Pittsburgh performance

Now the goal for the Ravens’ secondary is consistency, after gaining some redemption in Pittsburgh.

Burned for big plays against the Raiders and Bengals, the Ravens’ secondary bounced back against the Steelers, containing Antonio Brown (five catches, 42 yards), one of the NFL’s most dangerous receivers. With Michael Vick at quarterback, the Steelers’ game plan was more conservative than it would have been had Ben Roethlisberger been healthy. But the Ravens made Vick’s job difficult with tight coverage, sure tackling, and improved communication that eliminated coverage mistakes.

Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb both had excellent games at corner. Safety Will Hill delivered some big hits from his safety position. And the Ravens got a lift from a new source – nickel corner Will Davis, acquired in a trade with the Dolphins last month. Davis saw playing time in key situations and responded, meaning he will likely be given an opportunity for more playing time.

Webb, the most veteran member of the secondary, was proud of the way the entire defense bounced back.

“We kept coming together on the sideline, saying, ‘It can’t be on the defense,’’ Webb said. “The last few weeks we’ve been giving up some stuff, not getting off the field on third down, too many drives. Every man held himself accountable. Every time we went to the sideline, `Hey, it’s not going to be on us.’ That’s how it turned out. We just needed this W, I don’t care who it was. It was bigger than a Pittsburgh-Ravens game for us.”

We will see if Thursday’s performance is something the secondary builds on. But for a few days, fewer people are asking, “What’s wrong with the Ravens’ secondary?”

[RELATED: Ravens' top draft pick undergoes knee surgery]

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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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