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The way-too-early 2016 Ravens two-deep: Previewing the defense

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USA TODAY Sports

The way-too-early 2016 Ravens two-deep: Previewing the defense

The Ravens have a few more weeks of R&R before they return to Owings Mills to begin 2016 training camp. Of course, a lot will change between now and Sept. 11, when the Ravens open the season against the Bills. But with OTAs and the June mandatory minicamp now in the rear-view mirror, we're putting together our own unofficial way-too-early training camp two-deep. We looked at the offense yesterday, and today it's the defense:

DEFENSIVE LINE:

DE: Lawrence Guy, Brent Urban

NG: Brandon Williams, Carl Davis

DT: Timmy Jernigan, Kapron Lewis-Moore

Rookie third-round pick Bronson Kaufusi should work into the two-deep quickly, but he missed all of OTAs and the June minicamp after suffering a back injury during rookie minicamp. He is expected to be ready for training camp.

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OUTSIDE LINEBACKER:

Terrell Suggs, Za'Darius Smith

Elvis Dumervil, Kamalei Correa

Suggs and Dumervil both enter camp coming off injuries, but assuming they are back at 100 percent, Smith and Correa are logical top backups -- unless Correa continues to evolve as an inside linebacker.

 

INSIDE LINEBACKER:

C.J. Mosley, Arthur Brown

Zach Orr, Kamalei Correa

The spot alongside Mosley formerly held by Daryl Smith is one of the major defensive question marks this summer. Orr seems to be the front-runner, but Correa, the rookie second-round pick, saw a lot of reps there during OTAs. Albert McClellan remains a jack-of-all-trades who could fill in inside or outside and will be a special teams leader again.

 

CORNERBACK:

Jimmy Smith, Will Davis

Shareece Wright, Jerraud Powers

Smith and Wright return as the starters, just as the former high school teammates were for seven games last season. Davis is coming off a torn ACL but showed promise in limited action last year, and the Ravens have high hopes for him. Powers, the seven-year veteran signed to a one-year deal in May, had a strong minicamp and appears to be the front-runner to be the starting nickel back.

 

SAFETY:

Eric Weddle, Kendrick Lewis

Lardarius Webb, Matt Elam

Webb's conversion to safety seems to be complete, and he and Weddle spent much of OTAs and minicamp getting accustomed to each other and their roles in this new-look Ravens secondary. Elam should be healthy again and motivated to perform after the Ravens declined to pick up his fifth-year option. Terrence Brooks is also in the mix, as is versatile Anthony Levine, who even saw some time at linebacker in OTAs.

 

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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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