The Ravens have improved on defense since the return of Terrell Suggs a few weeks ago.
In the three games since his return from off-season surgery (Achilles), the defense, which had been inconsistent at best throughout the first half of the season, looks more solid. They've been better against both the run and pass and helped the Ravens win twice. Now, they've beaten two teams that won't be in the playoffs this year in Cleveland and Oakland, but the improvement's there.
"Maybe it does help them the fact that they know that they don’t have to do too much because Terrell is on the field, also the fact that he draws a lot of attention," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said when talking to the media on Monday. "He gets a lot of blocking attention, so that helps other guys who are singled out more than they would have been otherwise."
The attention that Harbaugh said Suggs draws can't hurt the defense. If he's double-teamed, that opens the door for someone else to get a one-on-one match-up and do something. Other teams will be watching Suggs whenever he's on the field.
He's the NFL Defensive Player of the Year from 2011, and even if Suggs isn't completely back to 100 percent of last year's form, he's still dangerous.
"His presence is felt – whether he’s putting up the big production or whether he’s not," Harbaugh said. "He’s a factor out there.”
This Sunday's game with Pittsburgh should also give us a good look at the kinds of ways Suggs can be a factor. The Steelers will certainly have their eyes open for him, especially because the Ravens will really try to put pressure on quarterback Byron Leftwich, the type of QB who won't run around a lot.
Suggs usually seems to find a way to make plays in games like this. That's why he's so valuable.
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