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Where does PFT rank Ravens?


Where does PFT rank Ravens?

Pro Football Talk has reached the Ravens in its preseason NFL rankings, and it rates them at No. 5.

Among the teams strengths, PFT lists most of the guys you would expect Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata and Ray Rice. PFT also mentions second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith, noting how he missed four games early in his rookie season with an ankle sprain and didnt really get into the swing of the defense until midway through the year, but as 2011 wore on, he looked like a very good young cornerback.

(Not to be too catty, because we all make mistakes, but PFT referred to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome as Ozzie Smith, confusing Newsome with the great Cardinals shortstop. Its enough to make you do a flip.)

As for weaknesses, heres where Joe Flacco comes in.

The biggest question facing the Ravens is whether quarterback Joe Flacco will be a strength or a weakness of this team. Its not that Flacco is a bad quarterback, its that he hasnt emerged as the kind of high-quality starter the Ravens were hoping hed be when they spent a first-round draft pick on him in 2008.

Thats too harsh an assessment. Flacco did have a few clunkers in 2011, but overall, hes filling a role the Ravens have set for him. But back to what PFT said.

Everyone has mentioned the Ravens age on the offensive line, and so does PFT, but it seemed more greatly concerned about special teams, citing glaring weaknesses. These include place-kicker Billy Cundiff. PFT cites this stat: Cundiff has gone 1-for-10 on field-goal attempts of at least 50 yards since joining the Ravens in 2009. Also, the departure of Haruki Nakamura, gunner on punt coverage, will hurt the unit.

Still, with those negatives, the Ravens are ranked at No. 5 before playing a game. Given that they'll be without NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs for an undetermined part of the season, a ranking at fifth seems fair. Plus, that should help them get into a BCS bowl.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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.


“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

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.