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Young Raven under pressure: RB Lorenzo Taliaferro

Young Raven under pressure: RB Lorenzo Taliaferro

After finishing 5-11 in 2015, it’s clear the Ravens don’t have room for young players who are not improving. Ahead of minicamps and rookie camps, I’ll take a look at some young returning players who are under pressure to step up next season, such as:

Lorenzo Taliaferro, third-year running back

Why Taliaferro is under pressure

The Ravens’ running back room is deep, featuring Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Terrence West, Kenneth Dixon, Trent Richardson, and Taliaferro. By Week 1, all of them won’t still be with the Ravens.

For Taliaferro to stand out, he will have to overcome foot injuries that have plagued him the last two years. He had his moments as a rookie in 2014, finishing with 282 yards and four touchdowns, but his season ended prematurely due to a foot injury. Last season, Taliaferro again went to injured reserve with a foot injury in October, and Allen took over as the No. 2 back behind Forsett.

Taliaferro’s physical running style is something the Ravens need. His availability has been something difficult for them to count on.

Conclusion

Taliaferro seems eager for the running back competition to begin. Check out this recent message he posted on Twitter:

“I can’t speak on other organizations but I bet no one can push you as hard to be great as the Ravens do,” Taliaferro wrote.

By drafting another running back in Dixon (fourth round), the Ravens have made it clear that carries and roster spots will be earned, not given. For Taliaferro to carve out a role, he will have to stay healthy.

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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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