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Reed: 'I'm focused on the season'


Reed: 'I'm focused on the season'

After a long offseason of questions about his contract and future, Ravens safety Ed Reed made it clear Wednesday that he had turned the page.

In his world, all the off-field stuff gets put aside once training camp begins.

Im focused on the season. Thats all Im worried about right now: getting my teammates better, getting myself better and getting ready to go forward with the season, Reed said after an afternoon training camp practice in Owings Mills.

That doesnt mean his desires have changed; with the 44 million deal he signed in 2006 due to expire after this season, Reed obviously wants another contract. In fact, he said, he and the Ravens engaged in talks about a new deal a year ago.

The talks (have) already been there. I know (Ravens GM) Ozzie (Newsome) and them know I want to be here ... I wouldnt give myself to this football team like I do if I didnt want to be here, said Reed, who negotiates with the team himself rather than use an agent. But theres a business side to it. Not every story plays out the way you want it to.

But we will cross that bridge when we get there. I have a lot of respect for this organization, obviously. They gave me a chance in 2003 to come in here and play, and I know they have respect for me.

That mutual respect hasnt always been so clear. Reed said in March that his inability to land a new deal near the end of his Hall of Fame career was a sign of disrespect. He has used the d-word before, when he was coming back from hip surgery in 2010 and wanted to chart his own rehab.

The disrespectful thing I talked about was something that was (about) me seeing doctors and stuff like that, he said. Thats something you deal with. Its no different than what regular folks go through (with bosses) on their job. This is a job. Thats what a lot of people are missing.

He conceded that his decision not to use an agent may have lessened his chances of striking a new deal with the team.

"I didn't want a middleman in between. I felt like we could handle it," he said, "but you do need someone to kind of say the things you're not able to say because you are in the business."

In any case, now that daily practices have started and the season is approaching, Reed has put all that aside. For the first time in months, he fielded football questions Wednesday.

What's the early skinny on a Ravens defense adjusting to several new starters in the wake of crucial injuries and the departures of key veterans?

"I think we look great," Reed said.

What about the injuries he has dealt with in recent years?

Theyre still there, he said. I havent had nerve impingement (neck) surgery. I had a stinger (last year) in Jacksonville like I havent felt since high school. You have to be smart and make sure you go through your rehab and get yourself ready for the season.

As for the story behind his long offseason of discontent, Reed offered an explanation.

What transpired months back happened because of what I deal with family-wise and what Ive been going through for the past 11 years," he said. "Theres always a time when you have to assess yourself."

But that time is over for Reed, it appears, at least for now.

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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.