Buck Allen's Next Step Is To 'Be Explosive, Be Great'


Buck Allen came into last season as the youngster in a tight running back competition. By the end of the year, he was the starter due to injury and had established himself as one of the team's top offensive playmakers.

What's his next step after a promising rookie campaign?

"Being explosive, being great, being that guy that they can throw out there no matter what the situation is," Allen said. "Just going out there and being a playmaker."

Allen started six games last year after season-ending injuries to Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro. He finished the year with 514 rushing yards, 353 receiving yards and three total touchdowns.

"[My] confidence is at a higher level," Allen said. "After going through your first year, seeing how fast the game is, seeing how a different team plays, you're going to come back next year with confidence and more comfortable with the playbook. I feel like I'm in a great place right now."

Allen again finds himself in a tough competition for snaps this offseason. Forsett and Taliaferro are healthy again, and the Ravens also added former No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson and rookie fourth-round pick Kenneth Dixon this offseason. Baltimore native Terrance West also returns and has his sight set on a bigger role.

The position might have the tightest competition of training camp.

"It's great to have competition and great to have numbers," Allen said. "All of us are going to compete. All of us are going to make each other better at the end of the day, no matter what the situation is. We're all going to push each other to be great."

In addition to having roster spots on the line, the starting job is also up for grabs. Forsett is the favorite to win the job, but it won't be handed to him. Head Coach John Harbaugh has said on multiple occasions this offseason that the best player will start.

Any of the backs on the roster could realistically win the job, and Allen may earn his way back into that position.

"I learned that you've always got to be prepared, no matter what the situation is," Allen said.

The biggest knock on him from last year was the trouble he had holding onto the football. He fumbled in back-to-back games in Weeks 14-15, and Harbaugh benched him after that second turnover. He did come back to start the next week and didn't fumble the rest of the year.

Allen knows if he is going to win the job, he first has to protect the football.

"You've just got to take care of the ball," Allen said. "You don't want anyone else to have it. You've just got to take care of it, and don't turn it over. If you want to stay on the field, you can't be a guy that turns the ball over."

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