BY PETER HAILEY
While there's no advanced statistic to truly measure whether this is true or not, it sure feels like Joe Flacco's status as an "elite" quarterback is debated far more often than any other signal caller in the NFL.
The question, "Is Joe Flacco elite?" definitely gets posed as much as some of the world's most classic questions, such as, "Are we there yet?" and "Do you want fries with that?" Just recently, in fact, #5 was ranked as a "second tier" passer in an ESPN survey that polled front office members and coaches, which again revived the discussion.
That discussion reached the Twitter timeline of former Raven Torrey Smith, who caught passes from Flacco in Baltimore from 2011-2014 (he'll be playing wideout for San Francisco in 2015 after signing there in the offseason). One fan asked Smith whether he thought Flacco was elite, and Smith gave a very succinct and definitive response:
It doesn't get much clearer than that, folks. When dividing up the votes in the "Is Joe Flacco elite?" debate, you can firmly place Smith's name in the "yes" column.
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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.”
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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