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Art Modell: A lifetime of accomplishments


Art Modell: A lifetime of accomplishments

By JP Finlay

A look at the life and career of Art Modell, the man who returned the NFL to Baltimore.

1925 -- Art Modell born in Brooklyn.

1943 -- After graduating from high school while working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Modell joined the Air Force.

1945 -- Following the U.S. victory in World War II, Modell enrolled in television school, joins production crew of one of the first daytime television programs.

1954 -- Modell moves into advertising business.

1961 -- Modell leads a group of friends to purchase Cleveland Browns for 4 million, a figure he deemed "totally excessive."

1963 -- Modell fires Browns celebrated coach Paul Brown.

1964 -- The Cleveland Browns win the NFL Championship behind legendary running back Jim Brown, defeating the Baltimore Colts 27-0.

1965 -- Browns advance to NFL Championship game, losing 23-12 to the Green Bay Packers.

1966 -- Browns participate in inaugural NFL Thanksgiving Day game.

1967 to 1969 -- Modell served as President of the NFL.

1968 -- Browns advance to NFL Championship game, losing 34-0 to the Baltimore Colts.

1968 -- Modell chaired negotiations for first collective bargaining agreement with NFL players.

1969 -- Browns advance to last NFL Championship game before the Super Bowl era begins, losing to the Minnesota Vikings 27-7.

1970 -- Modell served as driving force behind NFL negotiations with ABC to televise Monday Night Football.

1984 -- Baltimore Colts move to Indianapolis.

1987 -- John Elway leads the Denver Broncos to an improbable comeback victory over the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Championship game with a late touchdown series that would later become known as "The Drive."

1988 -- Earnest Byner fumbles away the Cleveland Browns Super Bowl chances in another heartbreaking AFC Championship loss to the Denver Broncos, a play that later became known as simply "The Fumble."

1996 -- Modell moves the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, team becomes known as the Baltimore Ravens.

2000 -- Modell agrees to sell 49 percent of his ownership stake in the Ravens to Maryland businessman Steve Bisciotti.

2001 -- The Baltimore Ravens defeat the New York Giants 34-7 for the team's first and only Super Bowl victory behind a tremendous defense led by linebacker Ray Lewis.

2004 -- Bisciotti completes purchase of the Ravens, though Modell retains 1 percent ownership.

2012 -- Art Modell dies of natural causes at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at age 87.

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Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

USA Today Sports

Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

The Baltimore Ravens cancelled Saturday night's free open practice at M&T Bank Stadium due to a forecast that calls for heavy rain and inclement weather.

There is no official word from the team on whether this practice will be resheduled, but it seems like Sunday may be an option, even though there's rain in the forecast then too.

Ravens fans who were looking to see first-round draft pick and potential future starting quarterback Lamar Jackson will have to wait for another day. His presence at training camp, an inevitable competition with the incumbent, Joe Flacco, and potential two-quarterback packages involving both of them are set to be some of the biggest storylines of Ravens camp this summer.

As a Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson was one of the most dynamic players in college football during his time at Louisville. If he can replicate that kind of performance in the NFL, he will be at plenty more training camp sessions for Ravens fans to watch.


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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

This time last year, running back Alex Collins wasn't a part of the Baltimore Ravens.

After being released by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2017 preseason, the Ravens placed the 23-year-old on their practice squad, and by Week 2, Collins was already making plays.

As the season progressed, Collins found himself as the Ravens' top running back. He finished 2017 as the team's leading rusher with 973 yards while Javorius "Buck" Allen followed behind him with 591 yards.

If the 2018 NFL season began today, Collins would likely be the Ravens' starter, which is quite ironic considering the fate of his 2017 preseason.

"I always go back to where I started and where I am now, and I use that as my motivation," Collins said after Thursday's training camp practice.

"No matter the day, no matter how tired I am, I think to myself, at this time last year, I didn’t know my position, where I was, where I’d end up. So just having that security behind it is definitely my motivation to keep it this way and keep pushing forward and keep trying to get better instead of being complacent.”

Over the course of 15 games, Collins proved he had the strength and speed to make an impact on the team after Danny Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury on the first drive of the Ravens' Week 1 game and Kenneth Dixon sat out the entire season with a torn meniscus. 

While job security is something we all strive for, Collins isn't getting too comfortable with the hierarchy. 

“I don’t want to say necessarily ‘comfortable,’ because when I use that word, it makes me feel like I’m too relaxed and lackadaisical," Collins said.

"I’m more focused. I don’t want to get comfortable. I don’t want the team or our group to get comfortable, because we just want to get better every day. So, in the position I am, it’s a great feeling, but I’m always pushing myself to be better.”

While Collins has set personal goals for himself – like a 1,000-yard season – he is equally as focused on making the Ravens backfield one of the best groups in the National Football League. 

“I expect that," Collins said on being the Ravens' starter.

"I would hope that all the other running backs expect [to be the starter] as well, and that’s what kind of drives our group – when we all know that we have that capability to be the No. 1 guy, and we’re out competing and push each other and try to be the best. No matter who’s out there during the game, you’ll see a productive play out of that person. So, I have that mindset. I want to be the guy. I have that fire in me, and I hope [that is] as well as the other running backs, as I encouraged them as well.”

Collins noted that he's coming into training camp a bit heavier. He added five pounds to his 200-pound frame "just to see how that feels," but is still maintaining the stamina and strength he's always had. 

Collins – who was one of several veterans released from practice early as the team begins to adjust their way into the extended preseason – finished his media availability with a friendly warning to fantasy football owners: "Draft me now before it’s too late, guys."