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Training camp hangover?

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Training camp hangover?

A hot July afternoon in Maryland seems a world away from a cold January evening in Massachusetts, but according to Ray Rice, the memory of the AFC championship game will be present when the Ravens hit the practice field for training camp Thursday.

Its always a thought. The mood of training camp will be that last game, Rice said Wednesday.

The Ravens lost that day to the New England Patriots, 23-20, after Lee Evans dropped a possible touchdown pass in the final seconds and then Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal that would have pushed the game into overtime blunders destined to live in Baltimore football infamy.

There were some very good things that we did in that last game. But the mood of the training camp will only be to overcome that last game. Lets get that out of the way. That will be the movement going forward, Rice said.

The Ravens will have to settle for hitting each other until they open their exhibition season against the Atlanta Falcons on Aug 9. They open the regular season against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 10.

The best thing, whether its preseason or not, the best feeling is going to be lining up against another opponent, Rice said, because that gets the last game out. You know what? All right, the last game is over. Its always a thought. Its always a feeling. Youre a pro, you always think about what you could have done better, how you felt, and quite frankly, that (New England loss) was not the best feeling.

Actually, the Ravens were in a similar position a year ago, coming off a frustrating playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in which they blew a two- touchdown halftime lead. Knowing they would open the 2011 regular season at home against the Steelers, they built themselves up to an emotional high during training camp and the preseason, and crushed the Steelers in the opener.

It was almost as if that game was all about unleashing the frustrations that had simmered inside them since the playoff defeat.

Could the same thing happen again?

Well go out to dinner some nights when coach has us off. Were going to do things to gel again as a team, because one thing we were last year was a great team, Rice said. No one can take that away from us. We just fell short. We have to try to get that feeling back.

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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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