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Suggs sizzles but not like Ray Lewis


Suggs sizzles but not like Ray Lewis

Who knows whether or not Ray Lewis' career is over.

The 17th-year linebacker had surgery on his torn right triceps Wednesday, but his Ravens teammates expect him to be there even if he can't play.

The same goes for cornerback Lardarius Webb, who tore a ligament in his knee in last week's 31-29 win vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

"They're going to be here helping us. They're still going to study the game and pretty much let us know what they're seeing to help ease our thoughts," linebacker Albert McClellan said. "They're gone on the field, but in meeting rooms I'm pretty sure Ray probably will be … telling us what he sees."

Though his best years are behind him, the emotional spark that Lewis brings can't be measured in statistics. The Ravens will get back linebacker Terrell Suggs, who began practicing for the first time this season Wednesday. He tore his Achilles after he was named 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

But Suggs, who is known as Sizzle, is no substitute for Lewis.

"Sizzle is who he is and Ray is who he is. He'll never be that guy Ray Lewis," defensive end Pernell McPhee said. "Take nothing from Sizz …  ain't no other Ray.

"We still got a lot of vets. We got Haloti (Ngata). We got Ed Reed. We got Sizz. … Hopefully Ray (will) be with us every game, flying in and getting us crunk."

Linebacker Paul Kruger agrees when it comes to Lewis' uniqueness.

"You can't replace a guy like that. His leadership, his character, what he brings to the game," Kruger said. "He's a teammate so you don't want to count him out of it. … He's the type of guy that motivates you a lot to play, to fight. Even the way you live your life he wants (you) to do better. … He makes me want to be a better person. Be a better football player."

McClellan chalks up the circumstances to the Ravens having to prove their championship mettle. They were without out Lewis for four games last season, went undefeated and still went 12-4. But they weren't without Webb, too.

"Any great team overcame adversity. … In order for us to be great, we got to overcome this," McClellan said. "I'm pretty sure since their names are on the roster they're going to want this team to be great. They want to put their input on this team so they're going to help us overcome."

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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."