Ravens running back Justin Forsett made a dramatic leap from an NFL journeyman into the Pro Bowl last year during his breakthrough season.
As satisfying as it was for Forsett to finally emerge as a valuable starter, he wants to justify the faith the Ravens placed in him by signing him to a three-year, $9 million contract this offseason.
"Still hungry, still ready to go out and fight," Forsett said as the Ravens' veterans reported to training camp Wednesday. "Nothing is given to me. So, I just got to go out there and prove to this organization that they made the right decision in keeping me, and I'm ready to work."
After rushing for a career-high 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns last season as the replacement for Ray Rice, Forsett spent time this offseason training at Cal, his alma mater. Forsett also worked out with Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
"Man, I want to be better," Forsett said. "I want to be able to exceed all those things that I had last year. I want to be able to get to that championship, and that's the main goal. ... Bigger, stronger, faster. That was the goal. I wanted to go in, be stronger, be faster, be quicker, just take my game to the next level."
The 5-foot-8, 197-pound veteran was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate last season when he led the NFL with 17 runs of 20 yards or more and caught 44 passes for 263 yards.
Forsett stayed with the Ravens after also drawing interest from the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders.
With the hire of offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, Forsett figures to be more involved in the passing game. Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte caught 102 and 75 passes over the past two seasons playing for Trestman.
"As far as me personally, some more route running [could be in store]," Forsett said. "This last time off that we had, getting together with [a] quarterback, I was out in California training, so I spent some time out there just sharpening up my route skills. And if my number is called, I'll be ready for it."
The Ravens have maintained the zone blocking system installed by former offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak last year, the same offense that Forsett played in for Kubiak with the Houston Texans. That kind of familiarity should provide the Ravens offense with some continuity and production.
"For the scheming stuff, I've been doing this zone-blocking scheme for about six years now," Forsett said. "I just want to make sure I'm making the right cuts and that I'm not missing anything on the field. On the run scheme, I look back at film, and there are some things I could have done better last year, and I want to improve upon that."