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When Elway called, Kubiak listened and left Ravens

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When Elway called, Kubiak listened and left Ravens

When the Broncos called, Gary Kubiak couldn’t say no. It was the team Kubiak spent his entire nine-year playing career with. It was the team run by his close friend and former teammate, Broncos executive vice president John Elway.

So Kubiak left the Ravens after just one year (2014) as their offensive coordinator and became the Broncos head coach. His leadership is a key reason why the Broncos have reached Super Bowl 50. Handling quarterback Peyton Manning during the twilight of his career has not been easy. Neither has joining an organization that had Super-Bowl-or-bust expectations.

Yet, Kubiak has navigated some difficult situations successfully, leaving Elway with no doubt he made the right call to fire coach John Fox last year, after the Broncos had won four straight AFC West titles.

“The hot seat that Gary stepped into was hotter than any seat in the league,” Elway told reporters following the AFC championship game. “We had great success before he got here and to be able, for him to come in…the things he had to handle, not many guys would have handled it as well as he has.”

Kubiak originally intended to remain with the Ravens, even issuing a statement that he was staying after several teams wanted to interview him for head coaching positions. But when Elway called, Kubiak listened. Considering the Broncos are in the Super Bowl, and the Ravens finished 5-11, many Ravens fans also wish Kubiak had stayed. But unlike the Ravens, who were decimated by injuries and simply didn’t play well enough, the Broncos kept finding ways to win, and have landed on the game’s biggest stage.

On Tuesday, Kubiak thanked Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, general manager Ozzie Newsome, and coach John Harbaugh for the year he spent with the Ravens, something Kubiak has done often.

“Working for John, for that organization, for Ozzie, for Steve Bisciotti, really helped me as a football coach, watching them operate, watching them do things,” Kubiak said. “To have chance to come back her with John (Elway), I feel very fortunate.”

Kubiak has won three Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach – one with the 49ers, and two with the Broncos. But winning a Super Bowl as a head coach would be even more special. Kubiak is very happy with his decision to join the Broncos. He hopes the decisions he makes Sunday work out just as well.

 

MORE RAVENS: What will another Super Bowl win mean for Peyton Manning? 

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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.

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.”

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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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