Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett performed at a career high level en route to his first Pro Bowl selection after rushing for 1,266 yards and a 5.4 yards per carry average in 2014. After years of mediocre play, it was definitely a coming out party for Forsett.
As a result of his superb play, the Ravens gave the journeyman running back a new three-year, $9 million deal this offseason. The contract marks the first time in Forsett’s career in which he won’t be playing for the minimum possible salary.
Now considering Forsett has just one year of successful play under his belt in his career, the big question becomes whether he can repeat his 2014 season and continue his success into 2015. It is certainly a question on the minds of just about every Ravens fan.
Well earlier this week at the rookie symposium, Forsett helped ensure Ravens fans that he is working as hard as ever as he spoke to the rookies at the annual event.
“One of my messages to this rookie class is not only to control what you can control, but excel at what you can control,” Forsett wrote on sportsblog.com. “For me, I know I can control how well I know the playbook, so I go overboard sometimes with just how well I know it. I not only learn what I need to do, but I know what others need to do so when I’m in the game, I can anticipate what will happen next instead of just reacting or being caught off guard. I’m a short guy, 5-foot-8 and 198 pounds. I might be the little guy on the field, but I want to send the message every time I’m in the game that I will outwork you.”
“I’m just as hungry now as when I started in this league.” Forsett continued. “They told me I was too short and too slow… and now I’m too old. So, there’s always something I have to face and I’m ready for the challenge.”
Forsett has been very active this offseason in preparing himself for the upcoming season. He participated in the Ravens’ voluntary and mandatory OTA’s and has immersed himself in learning the new playbook, as the Ravens switch to new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s system.
The offense will look very different under Trestman and Forsett could be the key to their success.
Trestman certainly likes to use the running back as a pass catcher out of the backfield in his offensive scheme. In his two years as the head coach of the Chicago Bears, running back Matt Forte caught 74 passes in 2013 and 102 passes in 2014. Before Trestman coached the team, his previous high was 63 catches as a rookie.
With that in mind, Forsett has the skill-set that could work perfectly in Trestman’s offense. He is very good as a receiver out of the backfield and that is a skill Trestman will likely utilize. Forsett certainly knows his potential in this type of offense.
So clearly Forsett is hungry to prove he is not just a one-season wonder. Only time will tell, but it certainly is encouraging to see that Forsett knows the many challenges ahead of him.
Hopefully he can deliver again in 2015.