2015 She Rose Awards honors domestic violence survivors

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City State’s Attorney, helped to honor survivors of domestic violence, during the 2015 She Rose Awards at The Double Tree Hilton in Pikesville, Maryland on Saturday, October 24, 2015. This year’s honorees Flora Carter; Katina Renee Dolford; Deborah Hamlette; and Aisha Watson publicly broke their silence as domestic violence survivors for the first time.

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby delivers a keynote speech to help honor domestic violence survivors.

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby delivers a keynote speech to help honor domestic violence survivors.

Honorees joined hands and prayed with event attendees at the second annual She Rose Awards, during Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Honorees joined hands and prayed with event attendees at the second annual She Rose Awards, during Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Carrone Jones sings a moving song during the event.

Carrone Jones sings a moving song during the event.

LaQuisha Hall founded the She Rose Awards to honor unsung survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. This year, Hall held the event to honor domestic violence victims during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

LaQuisha Hall founded the She Rose Awards to honor unsung survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. This year, Hall held the event to honor domestic violence victims during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Lakita Stewart-Thompson, founder of National Association of Mothers and Daughters United Worldwide, Inc. (NAMADUW, Inc.) was honored as an unsung organization founder. Through NAMADUW, Inc. the advocate creates better situations for women and girls who are suffering from crisis or tragedy. Fostering better bonds between mothers and daughters is also a part of the organization’s mission.

“I thank God for lives being changed,” said Stewart-Thompson. “I just want to encourage somebody today to deal with your issues, because when you don’t deal with your issues, it affects everything and everybody around you.”

Along with prayer, spoken word and a performance by award-winning singer Carrone Jones, Mosby set the tone for the honorees to honestly recount their personal experiences as victims of domestic violence. Each honoree spoke in front of the sold out crowd of 87 after Mosby delivered her inspiring message that intertwined sisterhood, her own uphill battle achievements and faith-filled lessons.

“When I look around this room at all of these beautiful survivors, I see power not pain. I see triumph not suffering. I see pride not pity. I see courage not fear,” Mosby said, during her keynote speech. “You all have turned tragedy into testimonies. It’s nights like these and movements like the She Rose Awards that are shining a bright light on the survivors who are not victims. When you share your stories and your testimonies with the rest of the world, when you provide proof that there is life worth living after emerging from your own personal hell, you’re doing God’s work.”

Founded by LaQuisha Hall in 2014, the first She Rose Awards honored survivors of sexual assault. Since it’s inception, Open Door Fellowship Church in Radallstown has partnered with the awards. This year, 21 volunteers helped to uplift domestic violence survivors, while assisting Hall. By day, Hall works as a teacher in Baltimore. The author, beauty queen, inspirational speaker and mentor also empowers young ladies through Queendom T.E.A. (The Etiquette Academy).

“I started She Rose Awards because I know the power of someone sharing their testimony and how it can help them to progress in life. I had that experience years ago. I told my story of surviving incest for the first time on a pageant stage but of course not everyone is going to be in a pageant, so I had to create that stage for other people to come forward. Beginning last year, we looked for people who have survived sexual assault and domestic violence, but haven’t exposed it yet. So that’s the goal,” Hall said.

Hall further remarked that she uncovered her own confidence during her marriage. Mardis Hall, her husband of 10 years, supports LaQuisha’s passion to advocate for other sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors.

“This is a grassroots movement, not unlike some across the country that is about putting a voice to a people, and then promoting a ‘we’re not going to stand for it attitude,’” said Mardis while welcoming attendees to the 2015 She Rose Awards.

Mosby’s message underscored the belief that domestic violence survivors should not be ashamed to share their success stories with others.

“All too often in our communities we deal with these issues [in silence]— whether its sexual abuse or domestic violence. We’re ashamed to share our testimonies but sharing our testimonies can save somebody’s life,” Mosby said. “It’s very important to do that to change the trajectory of young people coming behind us, so we’ve got to cast our fear, our anxiety, our guilt, our shame aside and make sure that we’re getting to these young people and making sure that they’re not going down the same path that we did.”

To learn more about the She Rose Awards, visit: visit www.sheroseawards.com.

AACC receives third National Award for Equity

Anne Arundel Community College received the 2015 Charles Kennedy Equity Award from the Association of Community College Trustees at the ACCT Awards Gala October 16, 2015 in San Diego. This award is the third national recognition the college has received this year for its focus on diversity and inclusiveness in its policies, programs and procedures.

AACC President Dr. Dawn Lindsay and Board of Trustees Vice Chair the Rev. Dr. Diane Dixon-Proctor accepted the award on behalf of the college.

“When inclusivity and diversity are part of a college’s core values, everyone benefits, especially our students,” said Dr. Lindsay. “We have made equity a priority. Having this recognition strengthens our belief that we are on the right path.”

According to the ACCT website, the winner of the Charles Kennedy Equity Award shows “leadership in setting policies, championing an environment of inclusivity and ensuring results for the success and enhancement and expansion of opportunities for women, underrepresented and underserved communities.” Only the five regional equity winners were considered for the national award.

In addition to this award, AACC received the INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award and was honored as a 2015 National Role Model by the Minority Access Inc. as an institution committed to diversity.

“The ACCT Association Awards are among the most prestigious awards any community college, its trustees, presidents, faculty or staff member can receive,” said 2015-16 ACCT Chair and Alamo Colleges (Texas) Trustee Roberto Zarate. “In addition to these individual recognitions, ACCT annually recognizes an outstanding community college initiative whose purpose is to achieve equity in the college’s education programs and service, reflecting the association’s commitment to equity and diversity in higher education.”

For information about diversity at AACC, visit http://www.aacc.edu/aboutaacc/diversity.cfm

Baltimore Screenwriters Competition now accepting submissions

Calling all screenwriters! The Baltimore Film Office is now accepting entries for the 11th annual Baltimore Screenwriters Competition. Applicants can submit in the feature or shorts categories. The top entries in both categories win cash prizes, feature winners also receive all access passes to the 2016 Maryland Film Festival and passes to local movie theaters.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by 5 p.m. The application and guidelines are available online at: www.baltimorefilm.com.

The competition is designed to create awareness of screenplays as a literary art form and to encourage new screenwriters into the entertainment industry. The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is a project of the Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, in conjunction with film programs at Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University.

Funding is provided by Morgan State University, The Arts Insurance Program, a division of Maury, Donnelly and Parr and Johns Hopkins University. Additional support is courtesy of the Maryland Film Festival, NEXTCAR and Visit Baltimore.

The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is open to all screenwriters. Submitted scripts receive coverage by local screenwriters and producers with final screenplays judged by film industry professionals. The 2016 judges include producer Nina Noble (“Show Me a Hero,” “Treme,” “The Wire”), producer Grant Curtis (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2,” “Spiderman,”) and producer and studio executive Larry Kostroff. Winners of the competition are announced during the Maryland Film Festival on Saturday, May 7, 2016.

For more information on the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition, call 410-752-8632 or visit: www.baltimorefilm.com.

BCCC celebrates National Cyber Security Awareness Month with new degree

As a 2015 National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) Champion, Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) spent the entire month promoting online safety as well as new degree and certificate programs addressing the huge demand for highly skilled cyber security professionals.

Observed every October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month was created as a collaborative between government and industry to spread public awareness of the dangers that exist online and how to avoid them. To become a NCSAM Champion, BCCC committed itself not only to increasing cyber security awareness but to preparing students for careers in one of the nation’s fastest-growing fields.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 37 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The new BCCC cyber security associate degree and certificate will help meet this demand as well as workforce needs throughout the city of Baltimore and state of Maryland, considered to be the nation’s cyber security epicenter because of its proximity to the National Security Agency, defense installations and contractors.

The BCCC Cyber Security and Assurance Program began offering its first set of classes this semester. The program creates a pathway to related baccalaureate degree programs at four-year institutions and connects students to internship and job opportunities.

The program has three tracks:

•Cyber-Technology Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM)-certified Pre-Cyber Security training courses for students seeking an entry-level job

•A credit-based Certificate program

•Cyber Security and Assurance Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree

The 25-credit certificate program can be completed within one year.

According to Chima Ugah, head of IT programs at BCCC and coordinator of the new program, “Cybersecurity is an integral part of our daily living to protect individual and corporate data. The BCCC Cyber Security and Assurance program will address the hardware of computer infrastructure as well as the planning, implementation and auditing of security systems on multiple platforms,” he said. “The ethical hacking and computer forensic courses provide the knowledge of a digital detective related to computer crimes. We expect the demand to be high once the public knows about the new curriculum.”

A record 79 percent of U.S. businesses reported a cyber security incident in the last year, and the 238,158 postings for cyber security jobs in 2014 represented an increase of 91 percent from 2010, according to a new report released this week by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Raytheon, a global technology company.

Baltimore ranks ninth in the concentration of cyber security professionals while the Baltimore-Washington corridor ranks second overall, according to the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. More cyber security jobs are available in Maryland than anywhere else.

“There are myriad job responsibilities for students in Cyber Security and Assurance. The positions are dynamic and continue to evolve as this field continues to mature,” Professor Ugah said.

As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month, BCCC hosted a month-long online and on-campus contest, “How Cyber-Savvy Are You?” A Twitter chat on the ins and outs of Cyber Security Education was also held in which Professor Ugah fielded questions on the new program and career options.

Breast cancer survivor starts nonprofit to help others

— The pain nagged at Kiesha Harris. Then, the lump under her armpit swelled more.

At 34, the Baltimore born Harris seemed to know something that her doctors dismissed as nothing to worry about. Harris had breast cancer.

Because she was young— doctors typically believe breast cancer symptoms don’t develop until years later— and had no family history of the disease, it was assumed that the lump would prove nothing more than uncomfortable aggravation. But when she sought a second opinion at Saint Agnes Hospital, her suspicions were confirmed.

“I was shocked when I was finally told it was cancer,” Harris said. “I just wanted to know what steps were needed and of course I wanted to know about chemotherapy and radiation.”

Harris joined the 12 percent of women in the United States who develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2015 experts predict an estimated 231, 840 new cases of invasive breast cancer along with 60, 290 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

Also, while white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women, those diagnosed under the age of 45 are typically black women.

“Two years prior to getting a second opinion, I’d tell my doctors about the lump under my arm and they’d say because of my age and no direct family history I shouldn’t worry,” Harris said. “It got bigger and I knew something wasn’t right and when they finally diagnosed me I was fortunate because it was still fairly early in that I was at Stage 2 A.”

In January, Harris completed her chemotherapy treatments at Saint Agnes and three months later, she underwent the last of radiation. Now, she is focused on helping others.

“My mother asked me what was I going to do now and I told her I needed some time to process everything, but that I knew I wanted to help others,” Harris said. “You’d be amazed at how many young women have the same story that I have and this is clearly an issue. So, if we can have some sort of support to make sure young women get treatment and get the assistance they need, that’s what I want to do.”

Harris has put her words into action, starting a new nonprofit with a goal of assisting cancer patients.

“I started the New Pink Inc., an organization committed to helping recently-diagnosed young women get through treatment by pairing them up with a ‘pink sister’ breast cancer survivor,” Harris said. “At the end of this month, the organization will be hosting its first black tie gala event at Morgan State University and we’ll have music, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and lots of fun.”

The event is scheduled from 8 p.m. to midnight at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, located at 2201 Argonne Drive.

Already, the New Pink Inc. has hosted free health and wellness boot camps and, in December, the organization plans a breast screening holiday party. Future plans also include a mobile screening unit.

“I have two younger sisters and I get choked up when I think of them,” Harris said. “The support system makes a world of a difference and that’s what I want my organization to be, a support for those who may not have someone. I can’t imagine not having anyone there for chemo or radiation or any appointments. My mom and uncle never left my side and through the New Pink Inc., we want people to know we’ll be there for them.”

Charlie Brown, ‘The Peanuts Movie’ Gang encourage kids to trick-or-treat for UNICEF

As kids set out with friends and neighbors on a quest for sweet treats and goodwill this Halloween, they can bring along a new gang – “The Peanuts Movie” gang, that is. This year, the iconic Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign will celebrate its 65th anniversary by joining forces with another American favorite, Peanuts, which is also turning 65 this year.

“The Peanuts Movie” characters will encourage children to support Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF this Halloween by going door-to-door to collect donations for UNICEF’s lifesaving programs while they celebrate the spooky season.

Since 1950, American kids who Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF have raised more than $175 million for UNICEF to provide children around the world with medicine, nutrition, clean water, emergency relief and education.

Tools for schools: In addition to children’s efforts to raise funds, teachers of grade K-12 students can participate in the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF School Challenge. This fall, teachers can enter a short essay (200-500 words) contest about encouraging global citizenship in the classroom and community. The top 15 entrants will receive $500 worth of Scholastic books. Entries must be submitted at trickortreatforunicef.org by December 1, 2015 to be considered; teachers can also access lesson plans and other resources to engage their students on the website.

To learn more or participate in the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign, visit trickortreatforunicef.org.

Keep your trick-or-treaters safe and seen on Halloween!

Few holidays delight kids more than Halloween. At the same time, Halloween generates significant worry in parents and with sound reason. Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for young pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian/vehicle incidents on Halloween between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. compared to the same hours on the other days of the year.

Why are Halloween pedestrian fatalities so high? For more than 70 percent of kids who trick-or-treat door to door, it’s due to a dangerous combination of reduced daylight, preoccupied and unaccompanied kids in the streets, and bulky costumes that often make it difficult for oncoming drivers to see them.

The child safety experts at Safe Kids Worldwide urge parents to add adhesive reflective tape to Halloween costumes, but this material is expensive and often of low quality. Without sufficient time and distance to react, many drivers may see a pedestrian too late to avoid them.

“Most self-adhesive reflective material on the market is not only difficult to find, it is also of the cosmetic or low-brightness variety, which is only effective at very short distances and only if used in sufficient quantities,” said Chuck Gruber, CEO and founder of ReflectYourGear. “We want to make reflective material affordable and easy to use, in order to reduce preventable injuries by helping people increase their visibility to oncoming drivers. If you want to be seen in low light or darkness, our high-brightness reflective— visible at 300 to 500 feet— is the best option.”

Made with high-brightness 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material, ReflectYourGear do-it-yourself self-adhesive stickers are available for less than $10. For a limited time, visit ReflectYourGear.com and enter the code “BeSeenHalloween” to receive a free eight-piece pack of self-adhesive reflective material to ensure your young ghosts and goblins are seen and safe this Halloween.

Proper placement of reflective material can also have an impact on safety. Gruber recommends 360-degree (front, back and sides, including limbs) coverage for Halloween costumes, with reflective material placed at biomotion points, such as wrists, ankles, hands, feet and shoulders.

“The brain is hard-wired to distinguish human motion quickly, so when a driver sees reflective in the shape of a human, there is less time spent wondering what he’s seeing and more time to react and avoid a collision,” Gruber said.

Parents can’t remove all potential dangers from their kids’ lives, but they can take steps to ensure that the only scary part about Halloween is seeing vampires— and maybe the dentist.

Marylanders recognized for volunteerism at 2015 Governor’s Service Awards

— Adam Jones is the well-known All Star center fielder for the Baltimore Orioles. However, his outstanding volunteer work is often done on his personal time when the media is not present. During the 32nd Annual Governor’s Service Awards held at the House Office Building in Annapolis on Monday, October 26, 2015, Maryland’s First Lady Yumi Hogan joined the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, and the Office of Community Initiatives, to publicly recognize volunteer groups and individual volunteers like Jones who are making measurable differences in Maryland.

Jones, an alumnus of the Boys and Girls Club, was a special guest and honoree and was recognized for his volunteerism at the event. The athlete is a sponsor of OriolesREACH, which provides complimentary tickets for underprivileged youth to attend Orioles games. Jones and OriolesREACH donated $75,000 to help build a teen center for Boys and Girls Clubs of Baltimore. By the end of this year, Jones will have helped to refurbish three Boys and Girls Clubs locations. He also serves as honorary chairman of the Y of Central Maryland’s Send a Child to Camp campaign.

“Everyone’s here for one reason, and that’s to give opportunity, to help our youth, which obviously are our legacies. I have a son now, and another one on the way, so I am trying to understand the real meaning of a legacy,” Jones said at the program. “I want my kids, nieces and nephews to grow up and know that I was a person of change, of impact.”

Numerous 2015 award recipients who represented 12 different categories made significant contributions in Baltimore.

Jones, Michael Hebb—a youth basketball, soccer, football and softball coach—and Jason Butler were three special honorees. Butler’s sister, Monica Mitchell said that her brother was the very first person who began helping to clean up Pennsylvania and North Avenue in Baltimore, after riots occurred in Baltimore last April, following Freddie Gray’s death. Award attendees stood to applaud Butler for helping to inspire others to show pride in Baltimore.

“I saw the story that was being told and it was not our story. It wasn’t the Baltimore that I knew. I knew it was only one side to the story. It was a lot of ugliness that the world was seeing but, there was more to everything that was kind of happening,” Butler later said. “I told my sister I can’t let this be the backdrop the story.”

Michaela Smith, 14, who serves Baltimore through volunteerism, was a 2015 youth award recipient. After her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she started Hairbands for Hope. She made and sold hair bands, then donated the proceeds to Susan G. Komen Maryland. Michaela later donated 22 bags of school supplies to children whose parents are undergoing cancer treatment.

Tavares Evans, who volunteers in Baltimore City, was recognized for volunteering to teach students the value of entrepreneurship and academic excellence. Samaritan Women Residence Volunteers serving Baltimore County were recognized for providing long-term residential recovery services to adult female survivors of human trafficking. Morgan State University alumnus and AmeriCorps alum, Chis Gleason-Smuck was honored for continuing to volunteer extensively in the community.

An award was presented to Lockheed Martin. Their STEM Ambassadors show dedication to STEM education in Baltimore. The Johns Hopkins Community Impact Internship Program— class of 2014, Tammy Ficca, Sandy Miller, the Town of Berlin Ambassador Program, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Prince George’s County, Leigh Alvey and Caroline Gaver also received awards.

Steven McAdams, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, told awardees that they are helping to improve Maryland.

“You’re touching lives,” McAdams said. “You’re addressing a need, and it is so important that we honor you today, because most people who are giving, they are not takers, so most people do not want the recognition. But we want to let you know that Governor [Larry] Hogan knows you’re here.”

A non-traditional solution for college dropouts

Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have some company. Today, more than one in five working-age Americans are college dropouts. Unfortunately, most dropouts aren’t billionaires. Many are non-traditional students who leave school because of non-academic issues: a sick family member, a job loss, or just the pure shock of returning to school after a long hiatus.

Colleges must do more to reverse this trend. After all, they bear some responsibility for the fact that 20 percent of their students walk away. They can drive down the dropout rate and get more students to graduate by investing in staffing support and resources for high-risk students.

The United States has the highest college dropout rate of any industrialized nation. Almost half of all students who enroll in a post-secondary program fail to graduate within six years. Dropout rates are even worse for non-traditional students— students who commute from off-campus, are part-time, or enroll later in life. Nearly two in three fail to graduate.

Fortunately, some colleges are bucking the dropout trend. By providing targeted institutional support, they’re graduating more students on time and preparing them for the workforce. Consider Mercy College in New York. It’s implemented a Personalized Achievement Contract program, which places special emphasis on helping first-generation students from low-income backgrounds. Each freshman in the program is paired with a professional mentor who offers academic, financial and career advice. Since its implementation, Mercy’s five-year graduation rate has increased 20 percent.

A student coaching service, known as “InsideTrack” has delivered similar results. “InsideTrack” provides students with personal coaches who regularly contact students to discuss classes, map out academic goals, and recommend appropriate institutional resources.

In a randomized study, InsideTrack coached more than 8,000 first-year students at eight institutions of higher learning. These students were almost nine percent more likely to stay in school after their first year than non-coached students. They were also 13 percent more likely to graduate than non-coached students.

At Chamberlain College of Nursing, we’ve developed a philosophy called Chamberlain Care, which focuses on taking extraordinary care of students and providing them robust resources.

A recent Gallup poll revealed that a primary factor in an individual’s success in school and the workplace was having a faculty member who “cared about them as a person.” Yet only 22 percent of those surveyed reported receiving such support in college.

Through Chamberlain Care, students have access to success seminars and content-specific tutoring, which teach communication, relationship-building, and emotional

intelligence. Students are also engaged in experiential learning through simulated hospital environments and clinical work. Since the initiative was implemented two years ago, academic performance has surged. In one key course, the number of students who passed increased from 71 percent to 92 percent.

The program has proved invaluable for high-risk students who have failed at or withdrawn from other nursing schools. Since its inception, 230 such students have enrolled at Chamberlain’s Addison, Illinois, campus. Over 90 percent graduated. Ninety-four percent passed the nurse-licensing exam on their first attempt, 10 percentage points higher than the national average.

The evidence is clear: Programs that provide support through a caring approach help at-risk students graduate. Now, colleges must start implementing them.

The vast majority of would-be dropouts aren’t trying to be the next Steve Jobs. They’re trying to earn a degree to secure a brighter future for themselves and their families. For their sake— and for that of our economy— colleges must do more to get them to graduation.

Susan Groenwald, Ph.D., RN, ANEF, FAAN, is national president of Chamberlain College of Nursing.

Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers present major challenge to the Baltimore Ravens

— The Baltimore Ravens have quite a challenge this week when they face Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. Rivers has found a high degree of success against the Ravens throughout his career. That success includes games in which he faced a Ravens defense that was very good against the pass. This year’s Ravens defense is struggling to stop opposing quarterbacks.

In six career games against the Ravens, Rivers has thrown for 1,711 yards, 11 touchdowns and has completed 66.5% of his pass attempts. He has compiled a 101.8 quarterback rating. The last time the Ravens saw Rivers, he led the Chargers on a touchdown scoring drive to go ahead of the Ravens with 46 seconds left. The Chargers won that game at M&T Bank Stadium by a score of 34-33.

Rivers ended that game with 383 yards passing along with three touchdowns and one interception. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees looked back on the game during his weekly press conference.

“We played well until the very end. I think the last four minutes is when we really didn’t pay well. We played well on defense up until then. We have to compete for 60 minutes,” Pees said. “It’s actually a good lesson for us for this year. We can’t give up big plays. One thing about Rivers is he is a very, very competitive player and a great quarterback. That’s why they’re No. 1 in the league on offense.”

The Chargers are leading the NFL in total yards per game (430.7). Rivers is averaging 343.6 yards passing per game which is tops in the NFL. His primary target has been third-year wide receiver, Keenan Allen. Allen’s 62 receptions lead the NFL. He also has 690 receiving yards, which is the third most in the NFL.

It is safe to say that the Ravens 26th ranked pass defense will be tested. The secondary has undergone somewhat of a facelift since the beginning of the season. Jimmy Smith has been a mainstay on the outside, but Lardarius Webb and Shareece Wright have both seen significant time on the other side of Smith.

Kyle Arrington began the season as the nickel back. He would bump inside and cover the slot receiver. Arrington has seen a significant decrease in reps recently. The coaching staff has become more comfortable with Webb on the inside along with Smith and Wright playing outside.

Rivers is different from a lot of quarterbacks because of the way that he engages in trash talking and how he responds to it. There are many times where you will see him talking to the defense after making a play and even getting in their face.

Pees said that the trash talk is something that he thinks gets Rivers going. “I think the more you try to get in his face – the more you try to do any of that – I think he actually loves it,” Pees said. “I think he thrives on it a little bit. I really have a ton of respect for him. I think he’s a guy who will get in the defense’s face, which I don’t like. But I really have a tremendous amount of respect for his competitiveness and how he plays.”

The rest of the team feeds off of the energy that Rivers brings. He is known across the league as a fierce competitor. Rivers has no problem challenging the top corners in the NFL. Jimmy Smith said that he definitely expects Rivers to throw the ball in his direction.

Rivers is a veteran quarterback entering his 12th season. The Ravens may try to blitz him, but it is hard to come up with something that he hasn’t seen before. Rivers has a strong grasp of the Chargers offense and can make the necessary adjustments to make the Ravens pay for blitzing him.

John Harbaugh is well aware of how in tune Rivers is when it comes to making adjustments on offense. “The first thing that jumps out to me is his handle of the offense. He has skills, certainly, but the thing that jumps out at you [is] he’s basically running an offense where he’s calling all the plays.” Harbaugh said. “He’s lining up, he’s motioning to the guy to try to determine zone [coverage], man [coverage] – determine what coverage it is – how many guys in the box, and then he basically calls a play.”

Rivers isn’t included most conversations as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. The Ravens certainly feel he is deserving of being mentioned with the best.

“You can talk about Peyton [Manning], and you can talk about [Tom] Brady, but I don’t know that anybody controls the offense more than Rivers does. As he goes, I think their offense goes,” Pees said. “The thing about it is he’s really, really a competitive guy. Brady is a lot more competitive than sometimes he appears to be in a shirt and tie. Rivers is a very, very competitive guy, so he always wants to have that last word.”

Multiple quarterbacks have registered their best passing games of the season against the Ravens this season. The Ravens will have to play better defense than they’ve played the first seven games in order to slow down Rivers and the Chargers.