The fun is beginning for the Ravens. Its time for training camp today.
The Ravens have a mix of talented veterans and younger players who are trying to move up and become a major part of a tough team. This team is going to need some of the less experienced guys to take a bigger role this season and help out since the Ravens lost some key players from the 2011 squad that just missed the Super Bowl.
But the drive for the Super Bowl begins here in training camp. Thats where the learning and understanding everything about the playbook starts.
Its also where the experienced players like starting center Matt Birk can help younger offensive linemen find their ways.
Its important from a team standpoint to be out here and going through the two-a-days and doing the hard stuff, putting your body through it to get it ready, kind of get it calloused, get it ready to endure the physical rigors of the season, Birk said earlier this week. "So, to be honest with yourself, you embrace it. Its part of the process and also to your biological clock, it ticks this time of the year, late July, August. As a football player, you are supposed to be sweating on the football field.
The older players, more experienced guys that have been through so much, can help the younger ones who are not just trying to find their ways, but looking to have an impact on the team.
Coach John Harbaugh believes that veterans be a big plus to younger guys.
Any time you can get experience from a playerA player can give him some ins and outs through is career, and its not just football, Harbaugh said. Its probably how to approach becoming a pro and all that. Its really important.
But in the end, players like Ray Lewis know how hard training camp is, but they love the game so much, they just keep on going. Thats why Lewis said on Wednesday that hes going to keep on playing because he enjoys football too much.
Until passion leaves you for the game, retirement is impossible to think about, he said. I love the game too much, and I have a great connection to Baltimore and as long as Im playing, and my body feels great, then Ill keep doing it.
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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