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Steve Smith says he won't play until he's 40

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Steve Smith says he won't play until he's 40

OWINGS MILLS - Steve Smith has no desire to play until he’s 40 years old. Maybe he could. But Smith says he won’t, which means every season from this point is precious.

Smith turned 36 on May 12. But three things were clear watching the veteran wide receier work Thursday at Ravens’ OTA’s. He’s still in great shape. He still loves the game. And his hands are still like Velcro.

Afterward, a reporter asked if Smith ever thought about playing into his 40’s like a legendary wide receiver he admires, Jerry Rice. Smith shot down that notion.

“Jerry Rice is, obviously, the greatest wide receiver to ever play, and I really don’t have the family structure to chase 40, to be honest,” Smith said. “I have a lot of things on my “to do” list that don’t have anything to do with football. So, I’m going to take it day by day, but I will not be playing until, I’m 40.”

How well Smith plays for the Ravens in 2015 remains to be seen. But don’t expect a decline. He was their most productive receiver last year with 79 catches, 1,065 yards, six touchdowns. The Ravens drafted wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the first round, but until proven otherwise, Smith remains the go-to guy for quarterback Joe Flacco.

Smith could have chosen to skip Thursday’s OTA session. It wasn’t mandatory. He doesn’t need the reps.

Yet, Smith was where he wanted to be, still defying the odds as a 5-foot-9 wide receiver that plays much bigger. He knows people are looking for signs of decline, and that will keep him motivated to prove doubters wrong.

Asked when he started hearing questions about his age, Smith said, “Probably after the height questions stopped.”

However, nobody questions Smith’s passion for his craft. At age 26, he was one of the NFL’s best receivers. At age 36, Smith is still going strong. 

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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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