Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins knows what it takes to be considered an elite running back in the NFL. He looks at the New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara and the Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey as examples of the type of all-around talent he needs to reach that level.
“I’ve always wanted to be an offensive weapon and not one dimensional,” Dobbins said. “I want to be able to do it all.”
Dobbins finished his rookie season with 134 carries for 805 yards, joining Kamara as the only rookies in modern NFL history to average at least 6 yards per carry on at least 100 attempts. But the 2020 second-round pick out of Ohio State understands his receiving ability needs to improve, as he had just 120 receiving yards and zero touchdowns on 18 receptions last year.
Dobbins said he spent the offseason consistently working on his pass catching skills. On Wednesday, he caught several passes down the field.
“That’s what I have to do in order to be like an Alvin Kamara or a Christian McCaffrey,” Dobbins said.
Both running backs Dobbins mentioned are known not only for their speed but their ability to make plays in the passing game. Last season, Kamara led all NFL running backs with 756 receiving yards, and in 2019 McCaffrey became the third player in league history to record 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.
“I want to be one of the greatest,” Dobbins said. “That’s one of the things that I got to do.”
Peters, ‘Hollywood’ sidelined
Neither cornerback Marcus Peters nor wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown practiced Thursday. Peters is dealing with a toenail issue, and coach John Harbaugh said it was a one day absence.
Brown left practice early and didn’t perform in any drills. Harbaugh said Brown’s departure was for precautionary reasons.
>> There is no update on quarterback Lamar Jackson, who tested positive for COVID for a second time and will miss the start of training camp. Harbaugh said he doesn’t anticipate any updates on Jackson moving forward.
>> Cornerback Jimmy Smith said he feels good after breaking his rib last season. “Out of all the injuries I’ve ever had, that by far was the worst pain,” he said.
>> Ravens’ passing game specialist Keith Williams’ unique coaching methods were on display, as he had receivers catching soccer balls during receiving drills. Receiver Sammy Watkins said he used soccer balls when working with Williams during the offseason, but doesn’t know where the idea originated from.
“We try not to look at him crazy but I get his whole method,” Watkins said. “You got to spread your hands and it’s bigger than a football.”
>> Watkins mentioned how Baltimore is a great environment and the coaching and training staff is helping him stay healthy and mentally stable. Watkins has battled injuries throughout his eight year career, missing 23 games in the past five seasons. In 2020, Watkins battled a groin and hamstring injury with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“[Coaches] take me out and put me in on certain plays,” Watkins said. “They know what I need and I’m also old enough now to figure out, ‘Hey, I need this and I need to work on that.’“
>> Harbaugh had high praise for receiver James Proche II, who made some impressive catches throughout the morning including a pair of touchdown grabs.
“[Proche] is a serious competitor,” Harbaugh said. “He works all the time and finishes every play.”
Latest Baltimore Ravens
>> Thursday’s practice featured a much smaller crowd compared with Wednesday. The Ravens estimate having 1,000 fans a day for training camp.