A year ago, wide receiver Deonte Thompson felt he was competing for a starting spot.
The undrafted speedster out of Florida had a lot of promise, and buzz was building that he could be the answer to fill the void left by Anquan Boldin.
But after an injury and an offseason with off-field problems, Thompson is behind the eight ball, battling to make the Ravens' roster this summer.
"It's a big year," Thompson said. "I'm motivated, man. I'm so motivated. You can't take anything for granted out here. You have to give it your all."
Thompson beat the odds to make the team in 2012, and played in six games as a rookie. He caught five passes for 51 yards. He came into training camp as a potential breakout player.
"Everything was going good and I felt like the sky was going to be the limit, then bam, I get hurt," Thompson said.
Thompson suffered a Lisfranc foot injury during the Ravens' first preseason game. It knocked him out for the remainder of the preseason and first three games of the regular season. He finished with 10 catches for 96 yards in seven games played.
"When I got back, just catching back up and trying to get back in, the season's already rolling and guys are plugged in," Thompson said. "That really set me back."
The next problem came in February, when Thompson was reportedly arrested and charged in Gainesville, Fla., with felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
The case was dropped in mid-April due to insufficient evidence, and Thompson is not expected to receive any league punishment. Still, he had to have difficult conversations with Head Coach John Harbaugh, who was not happy to hear of the incident.
"It wasn't good, but he was understanding," Thompson said. "He was in my corner, so I was thankful for that. We discussed it and I think we put it behind us. It definitely had its effects on me."
Thompson is now trying to re-prove himself on the football field. He still has striking speed, but there's more competition than in years past. Torrey Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown are all currently ahead of him in the pecking order.
Thompson will have to carve out a spot as a special teams returner (he returned 15 kickoffs in 2012 and seven last season), and perform well in preseason games. He will be competing against rookie wide receivers Michael Campanaro and Jeremy Butler, among others.
"It's going to be a great competition, man. No doubt," Thompson said. "The cream always rises to the top, so the best will definitely stick out."