By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
1:10 PM EDT, April 7, 2014
In signing veteran running back Justin Forsett to a one-year, $730,000 contract last week, the Ravens have added a highly motivated running back.
Forsett spent last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and played in only nine games, rushing for just 31 yards on six carries before being placed on injured reserve.
He had a stress fracture in his foot and dealt with turf toe earlier in the season before being placed on injured reserve in December. The Jaguars ultimately cut him on March 11, one year into a two-year contract.
“I had a lot of injuries and a lot of adversity last year being in Jacksonville," Forsett said Friday after joining the team. "It made me stronger, definitely a better man, and I’m excited to release everything that I have in me out on this field. I’m 100 percent healthy. I’m back now and I’m ready to go."
Two seasons ago, playing with the Houston Texans under current Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, Forsett rushed for 374 yards (5.9 per carry), including an 81-yard touchdown run.
"I’m hungry right now," Forsett said. "I definitely have a chip on my shoulder the size of Texas that I want to get off, and I’m excited about this opportunity. I want to come play and I want to win.”
For his career, Forsett, 28, has rushed for 1,692 yards and eight touchdowns with previous stints with the Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, Texans and Jaguars. The former Cal standout has caught 115 passes for 850 yards and one touchdown.
“We’re very excited about Justin and what he’s done in his career,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s the kind of guy that is a very versatile player. He’s got great hands, does a great job in pass protection. Obviously, he can run the ball as a running back.
"He also contributes on special teams. He’s just a very versatile football player and has had a lot of success since he came into the league.”
With the Seahawks in 2009, Forsett rushed for a career-high 619 yards and four touchdowns and caught 41 passes for 350 yards and a touchdown.
“When I hit free agency a couple weeks ago, this was one of the first teams that contacted us," Forsett said. "Of course the history there with coach Kubiak definitely drew me here. I’m excited about the system.
"I’ve been in the West Coast offense, zone running scheme for most of my career. So, it just fits what I do, where I like to be and where I’m familiar. So, it was a no-brainer.”
At 5-foot-8, 194 pounds, Forsett is a third-down back who also plays on special teams.
“I would say versatility, "Forsett said of his capabilities. "My whole career, I’ve been one of those guys that switched with the zone run scheme. I’ve been able to run the outside and inside zone pretty well. A third-down guy most of my career, being able to understand the blitz protections and being able to pick up guys and run routes out of the backfield and out wide.”