xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

Ravens running back Justin Forsett preparing for competition to arrive via NFL draft

Ravens running back Justin Forsett runs after a pass reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field.
Ravens running back Justin Forsett runs after a pass reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field.(Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports)

The Ravens' offensive backfield is expected to become slightly more crowded following the NFL draft.

Although the Ravens signed running back Justin Forsett to a three-year, $9 million contract in March to be their starter, they're likely to reinforce the position in the draft.

Advertisement

"My job is to go out and produce and make plays and have an impact," Forsett said Wednesday, the third day of the Ravens' voluntary offseason conditioning program. "If they bring someone else in, just go ahead and compete."

The Ravens have brought in Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, Indiana running back Tevin Coleman and Boise State running back Jay Ajayi for visits and recently sent running backs coach Thomas Hammock on the road to evaluate Minnesota running back David Cobb. They met with Northern Iowa running back David Johnson and Miami running back Duke Johnson at the NFL scouting combine.

Forsett revitalized the Ravens' running game last season as he rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns during a breakthrough year as the replacement for former Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice. He's expected to mentor second-year back Lorenzo Taliaferro and likely a draft pick.

"I've been in the game going on my eighth season, so even with the guys here, being a leader, being able to mentor those guys, I can help them on and off the field," said Forsett, who was given a $2.1 million signing bonus. "I feel like that's what I'm here for."

Named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate last season, Forsett led the NFL with a franchise-record 17 runs of 20 yards or more. He also led the league with a 5.4-yard average per carry and caught 44 passes for 263 yards.

"I want to get stronger and faster," Forsett said. "I want to build on last season. I want to be around the guys working out, building camaraderie, getting the terminology down."

Forsett has met with new Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman to get a feel for the playbook, which will employ a lot of the zone-blocking principles installed by Gary Kubiak last season. Kubiak was hired as the Denver Broncos' head coach in the offseason.

"We were able to have some football talks, see some of the terminology differences that we had last year, go over some of the run stuff that we're keeping.," Forsett said. "So, it's been good."

Advertisement

Trestman built a versatile role for Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte, which could mirror how Forsett is utilized.

"Definitely, I'm excited," Forsett said. "He got an opportunity to touch the ball a lot of times, whether it's running the ball or catching the ball. So, anytime I can get my hands on it, I'm excited."

After bouncing around the NFL during previous stints with the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, Forsett is happy to keep the same address this offseason.

"It's nice to have a season where I'm able to come back to the same city and not have to move or call the moving company," Forsett said. "It's nice. I'm really enjoying it."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement