First, Sergio Kindle had to overcome a head fracture. That's done.
Next up was getting his body back in football shape. Done.
By the end of last year, Kindle said his biggest remaining hurdle was learning the Ravens' complex defensive scheme.
Now he believes he finally has it.
"It's going real well," Kindle said with a broad smile after Wednesday's practice.
"I'm getting the playbook down to where I don't have to think about what I'm doing out there and can go faster. Based on what I need to know, I've got it."
Due to the lockout, Kindle came into training camp as a clean slate last year after spending his rookie year on injured reserve. He was essentially still a rookie.
He spent much of the year in the classroom trying to catch up and was active for just two games. It was tough to get a read on Kindle last year.
"It's really hard sometimes to evaluate rookies when they don't really know what they're doing," Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said.
"So sometimes you look out there and you think, 'Boy, that guy looks terrible.' Well, he looks terrible because he's thinking about what he's doing, and so he's not doing it. … The biggest thing with Sergio is the fact now that he's been able to play, he's been in practice, he's been in the meetings, he's been with us."
Of course, there's more that Kindle can learn when it comes to other responsibilities around the defense. The young linebacker knows that.
"You can make everything simple based on what you learn and what you know," he said. "Jarret Johnson didn't need any help. He knew what the DBs had to do and told them what to do sometimes. That comes with time, years and years. I would like to get somewhere near that."
Kindle's next challenge is overcoming his hearing loss, something that may never go away. He said he generally doesn't have a problem with it, but sometimes has to ask for the calls to be louder.
Kindle said the Ravens have looked into getting a hearing device for his helmet, but are not positive as to whether he'll be permitted under NFL rules to wear it in games.
"When that comes in, it will be right on time," Kindle said.