OWINGS MILLS –Ravens cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Shareece Wright are teammates again, just like they were at Colton (Calif.) High School. The childhood friends had often talked about playing together in the NFL. When the Ravens signed Wright on Monday, their dream became reality.
“Me and Jimmy, we’ve been best friends since high school,” said Wright on Wednesday after his first practice with the Ravens. “I’ve been on the West coast my whole career – college- since high school. Coming to the East coast and having him to help me adjust – and having someone familiar in the building – I knew it would make the transition easier for me.”
The Ravens hope Wright can be a solid addition to their ever-changing secondary, after losing Will Davis (torn ACL) for the year, and with Lardarius Webb nursing a thigh injury. Wright is only 28 years old, but he was the odd man out in the 49ers’ secondary this season. After being inactive for three straight games, Wright asked for his release, and the 49ers granted his wish.
“They kind of went a different direction,” Wright said of his time in San Francisco. “I don’t know if there was a rebuild-type mode. Me being on a one-year deal, I kind of didn’t have a future with them. They had a bunch of young guys who didn’t play last year and were drafted guys. I just feel like if I played the whole season, these guys (would be) going into their third year (and) haven’t played yet.”
Wright has extra incentive to learn the defense quickly, with the Ravens facing his former team Sunday in California.
“It’s just the way things work,” Wright said. “It’s good to be able to (have) my first game being on the field going against my ex team. It’s one of those things (where) things happen for a reason.”
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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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