Kelechi Osemele has made it no secret that making the Pro Bowl is a goal of his.
The Ravens left guard has talked about his Pro Bowl aspirations for the last two years, and the desire for that recognition is still a motivation heading into his fourth professional season.
"If I'm honest, it is something I wake up thinking about every morning, so it's important to me," Osemele said. "I'm not going to shy away from saying it's definitely a goal of mine and something that I'm working towards."
Reaching that goal seems more realistic for Osemele entering this season, as he garnered recognition as one of the league's best guards last year. He started every game and was a key piece of an offensive line that helped running back Justin Forsett have a breakout year where he led all running backs with a 5.4 yards per carry average.
Pro Football Focus ranked him as the NFL's third-best left guard.
"K.O. wants to be a Pro Bowl player," Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo said. "He wants to be recognized by his peers as one of the best guards in the NFL, and the way you do that is by film. The film doesn't lie, and K.O. understands that."
The Ravens already have one of game's elite guards on the right side in Marshal Yanda, who some consider the best offensive lineman in the league. Yanda has made four straight Pro Bowls, and Osemele can learn from the veteran blocker about what it takes to get to that point.
"I've been talking to the veterans and figuring things out, and they just keep telling me to keep doing what I'm doing," Osemele said. "A lot of it has to do with consistency, and having one great season isn't going to be something that's automatically going to get you in there. I've just been focusing on some of the things I did last year that got me a little bit of notoriety, and now I'm just working on the weaknesses that I saw on film that I can improve."
Regardless of whether Osemele gets the Pro Bowl vote, he's also motivated by the fact that he's entering the final year of his rookie deal and is playing for a big payday. The Ravens expect him to be a vital cog in the offensive line that returns all five starters, which is expected to be a strength of the team's offense.
"I really feel like the sky is really the limit. We work really well as a group," Osemele said. "It's still early, but I feel really good about the things we can get done."
The Ravens continued the 2015 training camp with practice at the Under Armour Performance Center.