The Baltimore Ravens Have A Mold For Running Backs


What The Baltimore Ravens Want In A Running Back

When it comes to running backs the Baltimore Ravens know exactly what they want. For John Harbaugh’s team, it is all about fitting into the zone blocking system.

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They look for running backs that are down hill runners with a little pizzaz. They look for running backs who have great vision, can find the cutback lane and really commit when they commit to a path.

Look at the players the Ravens have brought in at the running back position. You’ll see a common theme:

  • Justin Forsett: 5’8″ 195 pounds
  • Javorius “Buck” Allen: 6’0″ 220 pounds
  • Kenneth Dixon: 5’10” 215 pounds
  • Lorenzo Taliaferro: 6’0″ 225 pounds
  • Trent Richardson: 5’9″ 225 pounds
  • Terrence West: 5’10” 225 pounds

The Ravens once valued backs like Jamal Lewis. It was more about power and traditional blocking. The Ravens mindset here was that they needed a back who could average 4 yards per carry and be a bulldozer in between the tackles.

Now the Ravens go after the leaner and quicker backs. With the exception of Taliaferro, every back on the roster resembles Ray Rice more than Lewis. The Ravens still value physical running backs, but now they want the running back to make more happen on his own.

In 2014 the Ravens rushing attack was everything they could ever want it to be. They led the league in rushing plays that went 20 yards or more. The offensive line gave a clinic on zone blocking. Justin Forsett showed the value of patience, vision and the ability to make linebackers miss.

Harbaugh knows what works for his team. He hired Marc Trestman to keep in place what Gary Kubiak started. There should be extra emphasis on the run game this season.

The Ravens figure to use Forsett, Allen and Dixon as a trio of similar running backs. All three backs can help out in the passing game. Because all three running backs are so similar, the play-calling is not dependent on which player is in the backfield. This will help the Ravens offense be less predictable.

Next: Early Prediction Of Ravens 53 Man Roster

Kenneth Dixon being drafted confirmed that the Ravens had a type at the running back spot. Hopefully the Ravens can get back to dominating on the ground.