OWINGS MILLS — Just recently, Ravens running back Buck Allen found himself looking back at film from last season. He saw himself carrying the ball in the open field with an opportunity for a big play, only to be taken down by a lunging defender.
"This year, that's not going to happen," Allen said. "That's something I worked on."
Allen became one of the team's most productive rookies last season. In the first 10 games, he was given just 64 carries, behind starter Justin Forsett's 151. But after Forsett broke his arm in Week 11 and missed the rest of the year, Allen started the final six games and carried 73 times for 265 yards, adding 32 receptions for 247 yards in that span. He finished with 514 rushing yards, ninth among NFL rookies.
Forsett is back and healthy in 2016, but Allen thinks he's more prepared, too. After his final season at Southern California, Allen jumped right into training for the NFL Combine and his pro day. This offseason, he had more time to rest before moving into a more strenuous regimen in Florida.
The biggest focus for Allen is avoiding mistakes such as the two pivotal fumbles he had in back-to-back games last December, one returned for a touchdown by the Kansas City Chiefs and another that set up a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks.
"You gotta take care of the ball," Allen said. "It's like gold — you don't want nobody else to have it."