OWINGS MILLS -- Here’s the buzz surrounding the Ravens heading into Friday’s training camp practice at 1 p.m.:
1. Will Hill seems very comfortable as the starting strong safety.
Few if any Ravens are having a better camp than Hill. He’s in great shape, covering more ground in pass coverage, and he remains the most physical member of the secondary, delivering big hits to ball carriers. The offensive line was a question mark heading into 2014, but it became one of the Ravens’ strengths. It’s conceivable that could happen with the secondary this season, if Hill, safety Kendrick Lewis, and corners Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb all stay healthy.
2. The battle at No. 2 running back between Lorenzo Taliaferro and Buck Allen is close.
They have different styles. Taliaferro runs with more power between the tackles, while Allen is more fluid and runs taller. However, it’s hard not to be impressed with how Allen catches the ball on pass routes. Justin Forsett is going to get the majority of work, but anytime Forsett needs a break, both Taliaferro and Allen should be more than capable.
3. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan looks very ready for an expanded role.
Jernigan only played 12 games and 330 snaps last season, yet still had four sacks. I think he could double that sack total this season. Jernigan isn’t the run stopper Haloti Ngata is, but Jernigan’s quickness in camp practices is eye-opening for a player his size. Opposing quarterbacks will be aware of Jernigan this season. If he stays healthy and maintains his stamina over 17 weeks, Jernigan could have a huge year.
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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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