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Will defense need to carry more weight?

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Will defense need to carry more weight?

With training camp opening this week, one of the big questions for the Ravens will be how much weight the defense is going to carry this season.
Or, actually, how much weight will it have to carry.
The defense carried much of the load for the team at various times in 2011. But will the offense fare better this season and take some of the pressure off the defense? Or will they have to?
The defense is going to face its own questions because it will be missing linebacker Terrell Suggs for most of the season possibly all of it and theyve got some holes to fill. In addition, theyre asking guys like Paul Kruger to shift positions and hoping for rookie Courtney Upshaw to play a major role right away.
Many whove followed the Ravens have looked at the defense as the teams anchor ever since the 2000 season when Ray Lewis and his friends led Baltimore to a Super Bowl victory. But that was the kind of performance that happens once in a generation, and while the defense has remained strong ever since then, its probably unreal to expect them to do it again.
The defense turned in one of its best performances in a while last year, and a good chunk of that had to do with the strong effort of Suggs, who eventually earned Defensive Player of the Year honors last season.
But the Achilles tendon surgery will keep him out for a long stretch. The defense also lost Jarret Johnson and Cory Redding, leaving them with three big holes to fill.
If the offense can carry more weight this season, especially early on, it will take pressure off the defense. That would let them get all of the different people settled into their positions early on. And all of that will help the whole team.

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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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