Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) gets introduced prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 28, 2014.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) gets introduced prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 28, 2014. (Evan Habeeb / USA Today Sports)

Sometimes there is a change in the personality of a player during the offseason after a productive rookie year because he finally has time to exhale.

He gets a chance to look at the bank account numbers that have soared. More friends and family members know his cell phone number. The wardrobe becomes outrageous and even then he has more cars than suits.


But not much has changed for Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley, who should have been the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014.

There is no entourage and new-found swagger. There are no big endorsement deals or over-the-top videos or sound bytes. In the NFL, which took a public relations beating last year, Mosley remains the quiet, young kid from Mobile, Ala., who only wants to make one change.

He wants to get better.

"Learning the little things about the defense, definitely," Mosley said of improving in 2015. "Definitely getting back stronger after I get this cast off [he had left wrist surgery this offseason] and still learning from my vets, because there are still a lot of things to learn as far as [being a] defensive player, being a young player. Getting in touch with Daryl Smith more and seeing the things that helped him progress each year in his long career, that can help me out."

He is different in a way. With Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, there were already subtle changes after their rookie seasons. They had much more charisma than Mosley, and the flamboyancy started to surface. More people started to hang around Lewis, and Suggs became more outspoken.

Mosley is more like former Ravens outside linebacker Peter Boulware. Both are Christians and neither looks for night life.

"No, so far I'm good. I'm going to try to keep it that way," said Mosley of a possible surge of new friends. "I guess for me [it is] not getting in with the wrong crowd. That was kind of my way of staying out of trouble — keeping my circle close, keeping the same friends I had, listen to my parents when they tell me to do things the right way and being the humble guy that I've always been.

"It hasn't been that hard for me, so I'm going to try to keep it that way."

In 2014, Mosley became the first Ravens rookie to go to the Pro Bowl after leading the team in tackles with 129 and also knocking down eight passes. He took more snaps than anyone else on the roster and was the only player in the NFL with 125 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.

He was an every-down linebacker who could run sideline to sideline and also play special teams. What can he do for an encore?

The Ravens opened offseason training this week and Mosley reported wearing the cast.

If you are concerned, don't be. The Ravens aren't about to mess up this investment. In college, players fit into a training routine. In the NFL, the routine is shaped around the player's need.

"Some of those guys have been here since the end of the season, so we continue to train them," Ravens strength coach Bob Rogucki said of Mosley, offensive tackle Rick Wagner and cornerback Jimmy Smith. "What we do in coordination with our athletic trainer, that's the first step — from the athletic trainer program and then on to our program. They're progressing very well. As far as their medical status, I can't say what that is other than they're progressing well, and it's a step-by-step, week-by-week process."

There is no hurry at this point and the Ravens know they have to be careful with Mosley, who has already had two shoulder surgeries. A year ago, the Ravens really wanted Notre Dame guard Zack Martin but the Dallas Cowboys picked Martin one spot ahead of the Ravens, who took Mosley with the No. 17 overall pick in the first round.


In his rookie season, Martin proved to be one of the best guards in the NFL, and Mosley did the same at linebacker. At a news conference Wednesday, Mosley was asked if Jimmy Smith's new contract served as extra motivation.

Smith was the team's first-round pick in 2011. Of course, Mosley answered the question in typical Mosley style.

"If you're doing those things in a period of time through that first contract, your play and your actions on and off the field are going to speak for itself," Mosley said. "This is a great organization, and I know if I'm doing the right thing, I'll definitely try to be here for that second contract."

That's vintage Mosley. Nearly a year ago at this time, he was one of hundreds of college players being flown around the country to various NFL facilities to meet with general managers and coaches. After the Ravens drafted him, they spoke highly of Mosley, but just as much about his humility than his play on the field.

So far, that doesn't appear to have changed.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun