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Johnson making case to be Flacco's backup QB over Mallett

Johnson making case to be Flacco's backup QB over Mallett

Josh Johnson, not Ryan Mallett, could be the backup to quarterback Joe Flacco this season.

Johnson has turned the Ravens’ No. 2 quarterback spot into a battle, not a forgone conclusion. That’s from coach John Harbaugh, who made it clear after Saturday night’s 19-18 preseason victory over the Colts that Johnson and Mallett were competing for the job. Johnson sparkled against the Colts as both a thrower (11 for 16, 72 yards, one touchdown) and as a runner (five carries, 40 yards).

“You look at the two-minute drive at the end of the half, he (Johnson) just operated it really efficiently,” Harbaugh said. “He got us to the line, he got the plays called, got everybody in the right spot, made throws. Then later in the game, guys got covered a little bit more, he was able to find space in the pocket and protect the football while he did it and used his legs to make plays. Critical third downs. Close the game out. I just thought he was very poised. He was very accurate with his throws. He is making a case to make this team. There is a competition for that spot. It’s been ongoing through training camp.”

Harbaugh pointed out that he was also pleased with Mallett’s performance (6 for 8, 47 yards, one touchdown) against the Colts. But Johnson’s superior mobility could tip the competition in his direction.

“Just being smart about it, and taking advantage of the scramble opportunities,” Johnson said. “That’s what we’re trying to do is move the chains. If I can do that with my legs, it’s just an added dimension to the offense.”

It would be an upset for Johnson to emerge as the backup, because has not thrown a pass in an NFL game since 2011, and has been a career journeyman at age 30. Mallett is younger (28) and started the last two games in 2015 when Flacco was injured.

It is unlikely the Ravens will keep three quarterbacks, so the stakes are high. However, Johnson’s experience allows him to approach the competition with maturity, which is bringing out his best.

“That’s really up to the coaches,” Johnson said, regarding his thoughts on the competition.  “My job is to go out there and put it on tape, and to show this team that if they need me, I’ll be there, and I’ll be ready.”

Johnson has looked ready. The Johnson-Mallett competition will be interesting to watch the remainder of the preseason.

RELATED: Five observations from Ravens' victory

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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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