Justin Forsett must be ready to double receiving numbers

By David Kenyon

Justin Forsett was one of the breakout stars of the 2014 season, but the Baltimore Ravens running back must be ready to play a bigger role as a receiver in 2015.

Gary Kubiak, the offensive coordinator last year, accepted an offer to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos, but Baltimore brought in Marc Trestman as a replacement. Fortunately for Forsett and Co., they merely need to improve particular skills instead of learning a new offense.

Soon after accepting the job, Trestman revealed he’d adapt to the Baltimore zone-blocking attack, rather than overhaul it to a West Coast system. Per Ryan Mink of the team’s official site, Trestman said:

“It’s never going to be my offense. It’s always going to be the Ravens offense … Why would I have 40-some guys learn a new offense when I’m just one person? Isn’t it easier for me to learn it instead of starting over with everybody else, including coaches?”

But that doesn’t mean Trestman won’t tweak the offense.

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte grabbed 74 passes on 95 targets in 2013, then smashed those career-high marks with 102 catches on 130 targets last year.

Forsett shredded defenses for 1,266 yards on the ground in 2014, but he only managed 263 receiving yards. Under Trestman, the latter is virtually certain to change.

Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun notes Forsett has been preparing for what could be the Ravens’ biggest change on offense. Forsett said:

“As far as me personally, some more route running [could be in store]. This last time off that we had, getting together with [a] quarterback, I was out in California training, so I spent some time out there just sharpening up my route skills. And if my number is called, I’ll be ready for it.”

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco already said Forsett is “going to be a huge checkdown guy for us,” per Wilson.

But now, it’s up to the running back to be ready for regularly contributing as a receiver. Forsett shouldn’t have any doubts of what’s coming his way in 2015: Lots of passes.

Photo: USA Today Sports