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Ravens special teams coach still sees room for improvement

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Ravens special teams coach still sees room for improvement

OWINGS MILLS -- The Ravens’ special teams have become a not-so-secret advantage.

Having blocked kicks in five consecutive games, including the game-winning play Monday night against the Browns, the Ravens special teamers hope to have a major impact again Sunday against the Dolphins.

It’s not just the blocked kicks that make the Ravens’ special teams special. Kaelin Clay is an explosive punt returner, as evidenced by his 82-yard return for a touchdown against the Browns. Justin Tucker is one of the NFL’s best placekickers. Sam Koch is one of the league’s top punters, with a variety of kicks that often pin opponents deep and negate returns.  

The Ravens’ special teams no longer catch opponents by surprise, yet they are still making plays. The diligence of special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg is clearly part of the equation, but he is quick to deflect credit

“I’ll point to the players,”  Rosburg said. “We’ve had some extraordinary efforts by individual guys.”

Brent Urban’s 6-foot-7 size was an advantage when he got a hand on Travis Coons’ field goal attempt Monday night, leading to Will Hill’s 64-yard game-winning touchdown return.

“I thought it was a great reaction by a lot of people,” Rosburg said. “Will picking the ball up, Terrence Brooks not picking the ball up after Will had it in (his) sight. Then at that point, everybody kicked into the return mode.”

On Clay’s punt return for a touchdown, he did several things that can’t be coached.

“He made a couple guys miss and then got back outside,” Rosburg said. “It was an extraordinary play by him. After I watched it on the plane -- I was talking to (head coach) John (Harbaugh). I said, ‘That was a returner’s return'.”

Yet, Rosburg is such a perfectionist that he still saw things that upset him watching film on the plane ride from Cleveland.

“I had to remind (Rosburg) on the plane coming back that we did score two touchdowns on special teams,” Harbaugh said.

Rosburg would love to have more special teams touchdowns to critique on Sunday.

MORE RAVENS: Urban looks back on his first NFL game, a memorable MNF win

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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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