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Best of the Best: Ray Rice vs. Haloti Ngata

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Best of the Best: Ray Rice vs. Haloti Ngata

In a battle of the best of the best, the bracket will determine who comes out as the No. 1 Raven of all time. Vote now, Round 1 results revealed next Monday July 6th live at 6:30 p.m. in Countdown to Training Camp:  

No. 2 seed - Ray Rice

Though controversial for his off-field incidents, Rice's value over his six seasons in Baltimore is hard to deny, displaying an ability to run between the tackles while also becoming one of the league's best catching the ball out of the backfield. 

  • Career stats: 6,180 rushing yards, 3,034 receiving yards, 43 total touchdowns 
  • Achievements: Three-time Pro Bowl selection, 2011 AFC rushing touchdowns leader, second all-time Ravens history in rushing yards 

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No. 3 seed - Haloti Ngata 

Since being drafted by the Ravens with the 12th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, Ngata has been mainstay at defensive tackle ever since. With his supreme strength and high motor, Ngata's ability to occupy space in the middle has played a crucial role in the success of Baltimore's defense over the past decade.    

  • Career stats: 25.5 sacks, 282 tackles, 167 assisted tackles  
  • Achievements: Five-time Pro Bowl selection

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'I started to realize that I’m not broken': Steve Smith opens up about mental health and depression

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'I started to realize that I’m not broken': Steve Smith opens up about mental health and depression

Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.

The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.

“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”

Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.

“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”

Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.

The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: What to look out for at OTAs

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: What to look out for at OTAs

Kick off your Thursday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including what to watch for at OTAs.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. As the Ravens try and bolster their pass rush during the offseason, they hope to find much-needed help from outside linebacker, Shane Ray. The Ravens picked up Ray from the Denver Broncos where he had an unproductive last two seasons due to injury, only registering one sack in each of the past two seasons. However, Ray had a phenomenal career at Missouri as a unanimous All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. The Ravens have given Ray a shot at a career reboot and fans are excited to see what he's got.

2. Thursday is the media's first opportunity to get a look at the 2019-20 Ravens. Ravens writer Ryan Mink writes seven things to look out for at OTAs including, attendance from veterans even though OTAs are mandatory, a look at linebacker development with the signings of namely Pernell McPhee and Shane Ray and a first look at the rookie class to name a few.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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