OWINGS MILLS – Seeing a guy named Flacco on the Ravens’ practice field Saturday was not unusual. But it wasn’t Joe Flacco. It was his brother, Mike Flacco, trying out as a tight end.
Flacco knows making the roster is a long shot, especially considering how deep the Ravens are at tight end. But Flacco has been giving his all at Ravens rookie minicamp, trying to make a good impression, and soaking up the atmosphere.
“I’ve been walking around seeing all the pictures of Joe,” Mike said after Saturday’s practice. “He’s been here for what, going on nine years now. I’ve only been in this building a couple of times, but it’s cool to be here. (I’ll) try my best and see where it leads. I’m working hard. I got a lot of reps, a lot of stuff to put on tape, at least show them what I’m made of, hopefully. It’s been good.”
This is not Michael Flacco’s first NFL bid. The 29-year-old University of New Haven product was with the Chargers part of training camp last year, and he had a brief stay on the Jaguars’ practice squad last year.
Flacco played just one year of football at New Haven in 2013, catching 30 passes for 591 yards and nine touchdowns. But Flacco was a college baseball star, drafted by the Orioles in the 31st round in 2009. Flacco spent four years in the Orioles’ farm system as a corner infielder-outfielder, but was eventually traded to the Red Sox system before retiring from baseball.
Flacco is working toward earning a chemical engineering degree from Villanova, but the urge to play football has not left him. Which has led Flacco to a tryout with his brother’s team.
How would Mike feel if he lasted long enough to catch a pass from his brother?
“That would be a dream, if I could make it that long,” Flacco said. “Try to give it all I got.”
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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