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Correa under pressure to make impact as second-round pick

Correa under pressure to make impact as second-round pick

OWINGS MILLS - If outside linebacker Kamalei Correa is feeling the pressure of being the Ravens’ second-round pick, he is not showing it.

Check out Correa’s response Friday when asked how it felt to sign his contract before the start of rookie minicamp.

“First off, those taxes on that contract, that hurt,” Correa said with a deadpan delivery.

Then Correa turned more reflective.

“But on a serious note, it was very fun to get back out there and actually play some football again. I’m just so happy to be a part of the Baltimore Ravens. It’s just so surreal. I still can’t believe that I’m here. I’m just trying to soak in every moment, because I could be gone tomorrow.”

The Ravens are expecting Correa to be a cog in their defense as a rookie, particularly as a pass rusher. That’s why the Ravens chose Correa with the 42nd overall pick, after trading down twice, from No. 36, to No. 38, to No. 42. Correa had 20 sacks during his college career at Boise State, and had the kind of motor loved by Ravens coach John Harbaugh – relentless.

“I’m a see-ball, get-ball kind of guy,” Correa said. “I love to hit. I love to get to the ball.”

Yet, drafting Correa was a Ravens’ decision that will be monitored closely over the next few years. The Ravens could have stayed at No. 36 and taken a few other players who had been linked to them in mock drafts:

- After the Ravens traded down with Jacksonville from No. 36 to No. 38, the Jaguars drafted UCLA inside linebacker Myles Jack.

- After the Ravens traded down again with Miami from No. 38 to No. 42, the Dolphins took cornerback Xavien Howard from Baylor.

- Outside linebacker Noah Spence went No. 39 to the Buccaneers, after the Ravens passed on him at No. 36 and No. 38.

The Ravens felt Correa was the better choice for them over Jack, over Spence, and over Howard.  Ravens’ outside linebackers Terrell Suggs (33 years old) and Elvis Dumervil (32 years old) won’t play forever. Correa’s addition is part of the Ravens hoping to get younger and faster on defense. The quicker Correa makes an impact, the less pressure there will be on Suggs and Dumervil to carry the pass-rushing load.

To make good on the Ravens’ confidence in him, Correa needs to be a player Ravens’ fans see consistently on Sundays in the opponent’s backfield - harassing quarterbacks, disrupting plays, making things happen in a way the Ravens’ defense couldn’t last season, especially after outside linebacker Terrell Suggs went down Week 1 with his Achilles injury.

For Correa, it all starts this weekend at rookie minicamp. And asked about the pressure, Correa had a succinct response.

“They’re paying me, so on Sundays I better show up and play,” Correa said.

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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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