Terrance West Has Impressed Head Coach John Harbaugh


While the ups and downs of Trent Richardson's offseason have grabbed headlines, fellow Ravens running back Terrance West has flown under the radar.

Not in Head Coach John Harbaugh's eyes, however.

West is in the midst of a deep and competitive running back battle with Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, rookie Kenneth Dixon, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Richardson. As players are looking to separate themselves, West has helped himself so far this summer.

"Terrance has done a great job," Harbaugh said. "I would say he's in the best shape of his life. He looks good. He looks quick. He looks fast."

The Baltimore-born West has had a tumultuous start to his young career. After becoming a local star at Towson, he was a third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2014. He was taken just a few picks before the Ravens were on the clock.

On paper, West's rookie season was a success. He started six games, ran for 673 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and scored four touchdowns.

But West only lasted one season in Cleveland, in part because his coaches referenced poor practice habits and preparation. He was traded to the Tennessee Titans for a conditional seventh-round pick just before for the start of last season.

West only played in two games with the Titans before being released in November. He came full circle when he signed with the Ravens, and quickly jumped from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He was part of the 1-2 punch with Allen down the final stretch after season-ending injuries to Forsett and Taliaferro.

In six games with the Ravens, West rushed 46 times for 180 yards (3.9 per carry) and caught four passes for 21 yards. He got a season-high 14 carries against the Steelers in Week 16.

Ability has not been the question with West. He can definitely run the football. It's been the little aspects of being a pro, both on and off the field. And in those areas, West has made strides.

Harbaugh spoke to the work he's done between the white lines.

"Young guys, young running backs, the thing that they always have to learn … They usually know how to run the ball, and he's proven he can do that," Harbaugh said.

"The next part of it is the pass protection and the alignments and assignments and lining up outside the box and those kinds of things. I think he's really done a good job with improving on this spring, and I can't wait to see him in training camp."

Then there's the off-field maturation.

Earlier this month, West announced the start of a free football camp for kids, which will be held on July 24 at his old stomping grounds of Johnny Unitas Stadium.

West's Twitter handle is full of talk about distancing himself from people who are poor influences in his life and just trying to taste a piece of his success.

He also became a father on June 3 to twin girls, Harmony and Lyric. They spent their first 18 days in the hospital, just as Ravens offseason workouts were reaching their peak.

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