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Justin Forsett, Terrance West Discuss Crowded Backfield Competition


The Ravens running back competition has become one of the most intriguing positions battles of the spring and summer.

Baltimore has a crowded backfield with Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Terrance West, and they also plan to add former No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson before starting offseason workouts this month.

Forsett enters the offseason workouts as the leader in the race – he has started 24 games over the last two seasons – and Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the combine that "the featured back will be the best back, and to me Justin Forsett certainly fits the bill."

But Forsett knows that everyone else in that group is gunning for his starting job, and nothing will be handed to the nine-year veteran.

"I'm a 5-8, 190-pound running back, so I always have to prove myself. It's no different," Forsett said Saturday at Torrey Smith's charity basketball game. "Each year nothing is promised, so I just have to go out and work and show what I've been doing over the last eight or nine years."

Forsett is entering his third season with the Ravens, and he's recovering from a broken arm that landed him on injured reserve last year. He started the first 10 games last season before the injury, and he finished the year with 641 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 151 attempts. He also had 31 catches for 153 receiving yards.

The 2014 Pro Bowler said the arm is "progressing where I want it to," and he has already started lifting weights again. He plans to get X-rays in the next week to determine exactly how far along he is in the recovery.

"I'm excited to get back this season," Forsett said. "Big expectations for myself and I'm just ready to get back at it and be 100 percent."

Like Forsett, West has been a familiar face around the Under Armour Performance Center this offseason. The Baltimore native has taken advantage of training in his hometown and has shed 13 pounds since the season ended.

Getting in better shape was a priority for West this offseason, and he is currently down to 219 pounds. His goal is to play between 215-220 pounds this season, which is the lightest he has been since high school.

"I'm quick on my feet regardless, but I think with me cutting a little bit of weight, I can move better, stuff like that, and stay on the field longer," West said.

West was a third-round pick to the Browns in 2014 but he ended up in Baltimore last season after Cleveland traded him to the Titans, who then they cut him midway through the season. He was initially signed to Baltimore's practice squad before getting the call up to the active roster.

The former Towson star played six games with the Ravens last year and carried the ball 46 times for 180 yards. With a second year in Baltimore's system, West's goal is to "go to camp, be healthy, compete for the starting job and help my team win in any way."

Virtually every running back's spot is up for grabs this offseason. Forsett, West, Allen, Taliaferro and Richardson all have ability, but the Ravens can only keep three or maybe four on the roster. 

"There's always competition each and every year," West said. "You just have to go out there and put up your best, and just compete, and let everything else take care of itself."

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