Running back Justin Forsett was only able to join the Ravens in the offseason because of his release from this week's opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley, who was the defensive coordinator in Seattle while Forsett played there for over three seasons, made clear Wednesday on a conference call with Baltimore reporters that Forsett's release had more to do with a lingering foot injury and the team's young depth at running back than Forsett himself.
"I'm a big fan of Justin since my days in Seattle, since he was there," Bradley said. "I just felt like he was a great person, great in the locker room. He just had some injuries when he was here. He struggled with playing time because of that injury. It just really lingered on and we had some younger guys at the running back spot, so I can't say enough good things. I'm really excited what's taken place for him out there. I think the injury was the big situation for us."
Instead of keep Forsett around, Jacksonville signed former Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart to a three-year deal in the offseason. Gerhart lost the starting job with slow performances early, and has 211 yards on 73 carries (2.9 yards per carry) this season.
Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, who the Jaguars converted to running back, leads the team with 582 yards on 135 carries (4.3 YPC) and four touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles also contributes to the rushing attack, with 306 yards on 47 carries.
Minus Bortles, the Jaguars' running backs have 947 yards rushing and seven touchdowns this season, while Forsett has 1,080 yards and eight touchdowns. Instead of lamenting his decision to get rid of Forsett, Bradley is happy for his former running back.
"I think it's more about the person, just because I know him so well," Bradley said. "It's more excitement for him. He's so deserving of it, what he brings to the locker room, what he brings to the team. I'm just excited for what he's brought to Baltimore."
Forsett, for his part, said Wednesday that there's "no resentment at all" for his March release.
"The writing was on the wall when I was at the bottom of the depth chart, then I end up on injured reserve, so I wasn't really surprised," Forsett said. "But it was still a hard pill to swallow, knowing that you've been cut and didn't know what the future was going to hold. But I just kept the faith, kept working, and this opportunity came up."
"All of the pain and the hurt that I felt during that time, it made me a better man. Those dark moments, those times of frustration, they happened for a reason. I'm definitely a better man today because of it."