This blog was written by Ravens running back Justin Forsett, and originally posted on SportsBlog.com through a partnership with NFL Player Engagement.
One thousand yards as a running back. It's been a goal of mine since I tied up my shoelaces and put on my pads and my jersey to play this game in the NFL.
Every year I've gone out with that mindset, but I haven't really had the opportunity to reach the mark. Now, being able to do it after seven years, it's big. It was a long wait, which I think made it that much sweeter. Maybe my next individual goal will be to get to 1,500. That would be nice!
Patience has been key. While you're in the shadows, it's important, I believe, to hone your craft, hone your skills, be a sponge, learn from your coaches and other players. Being a guy that was not in the spotlight, I was able to do that for seven years. Picking up things from other people, learning, growing and becoming a complete running back … a better running back. It took a lot of time and a lot of work. And I'd be remiss not to say that without an amazing offensive line, I wouldn't have been able to accomplish this feat. It's a team accomplishment.
Take a look at some of the best moments captured on camera of the running back's best season of his career.
I've always had faith. I felt like I had the ability to do it, just waiting on that opportunity was the key. I had no control over the situation that allowed me to get the opportunity. Of course, it was an unfortunate incident, but I can only control what I can control. Once I got the nod to start and be the guy to run the ball, it was my job to go out there and seize the moment and run with it.
With all I've been through in my career, I'm just trusting God and having faith. I'm at peace right now. I've been through so many ups and downs that I'm able to handle the good and the bad the same way. I just want to go out there and make sure I'm making an impact on my team, on my family and those around me. That's my mindset. I know that this game is fleeting. The statistics and the touchdowns and the rushing yards … that's not going to last forever. How I impact people and form relationships; those are the things that last forever.
My teammates and coaches have been so supportive. They've been with me since Day 1, especially my running back coach, Thomas Hammock. He's always pushing me and really believed in my skillset from the get-go and trusted me out there with the full load. All of the support that I've been getting from the Ravens is unbelievable. And the fans have been great. It's been fun seeing fans around town. If I go into a local grocery store, and am in the checkout line, people are coming up and telling me how excited they are to have me and want me to stay.
This has been a very different season from my others in the league. Very different! I'm not used to having this much attention on me or being in the spotlight this much, especially with the craze of fantasy football. I've been getting a lot of support from those guys!
But, of course, breaking the 1,000 mark was bittersweet on Sunday. After a loss, especially the way we lost, it's a hard pill to swallow because right now we need to win the rest of our games. My goal, my No. 1 goal going into the season, was not rushing for 1,000 yards, but to win a championship. That's the priority right now. Having that loss put a damper on the accomplishment a little bit.
The month of December is here. And like I always say, championship teams have to win in December. And that's what we have to do. It's cliché, but we have to take it one game at a time. Our game against the Dolphins this Sunday happens to be a very important game because it's a conference game, with both teams fighting to get to the playoffs. So from here on out, this is playoff football. We gotta go 1-0 every week.
Every guy is trying to put his best foot forward and go out and perform. Yesterday was our first day back together as a team. We know what we have to go do, and we are focusing on the task at hand. We've been working hard. I feel like we've been working like a championship team all season. Now we have to lock in even more and go out there and perform as a championship team.