Ravens' C.J. Mosley concludes successful rookie year in Pro Bowl

After ending an impressive rookie season in the Pro Bowl, linebacker C.J. Mosley looks to improve.

Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley will finish his successful rookie season Sunday night in the Pro Bowl, marking the start of an offseason in which he has vowed to improve.

Mosley excelled as a run-stopper and blitzer, leading the Ravens with 133 tackles and also recording three sacks and two interceptions. He played all but 15 of the Ravens' 1,080 defensive snaps.

"For a rookie, I think did pretty well," Mosley said at the end of the season. "But I'm a rookie, so I've got a lot to work on and I can only go up from here. So, I'm going to take my time off and get my body right for these first few weeks and then just get right back at it so I can be a better player come next April."

About the only area in which Mosley could improve is in pass coverage. Mosley was frequently close to making plays on the ball, but he allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 91 of 108 passes thrown in his direction for 767 yards and four touchdowns with an 84.3 completion percentage and a 100.9 quarterback rating.

Mosley acknowledged that he could get better in pass coverage to emerge as even more of an all-around linebacker.

"I think I had a pretty good season," Mosley said. "I'm not the one to brag or talk about accomplishments. I just know I can get better. A lot of things I can work on, and it's my first year, so there's a lot to improve."

Mosley credited veteran linebacker Daryl Smith for teaching him the ropes as a rookie.

"Playing with a guy like that makes it easy and having the front that we have makes it easier on both of us," Smith said of Mosley. "He's a good player and he's just scratching the surface. He's only going to get so much better, and I look forward to having fun next year. Awesome first year, and he's a special player. Look for more big things from him."

Mosley is joined in the Pro Bowl by Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, right guard Marshal Yanda and running back Justin Forsett. The winning team gets $55,000, with the losers getting $28,000. Dumervil and Yanda are on one team picked by Michael Irvin, and Mosley and Forsett are on the other team picked by Cris Carter.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh praised Mosley for how he performed as a rookie.

"C.J. Mosley is the next young, great linebacker if he chooses to do all the right things and if he gets a little good fortune," Harbaugh said. "He played this year at a high, high level, a Pro Bowl level. [Inside linebackers coach] Don Martindale deserves a lot of credit for that, as does Daryl Smith.

"C.J. deserves the most credit. He's a fine young man. He's a hard worker. He's very talented. He gets football."

awilson@baltsun.com

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