OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- One of the biggest questions that the Baltimore Ravens will have to answer during this year's training camp is at running back.
The Ravens have perhaps more depth at running back than ever before, and it's legitimate to wonder whether Baltimore will split up the carries this year.
So, would Justin Forsett accept a running back-by-committee approach?
"What's that?" Forsett said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
When the reporter explained what running back by committee means, Forsett continued to plead ignorance by saying, "What is running back by committee? I don't really know what that is."
After the reporter once again attempted to explain, Forsett laughed and said, "Yeah, I don't understand that!"
Forsett's playful give-and-take comes with a serious message. He isn't ready to give up his role as the featured runner in Baltimore's offense.
After being a reserve for the first five years of his NFL career, Forsett has led the Ravens in rushing the past two seasons. Before breaking his arm in Week 11, Forsett ran the ball 386 times, the eighth-most attempts over that span. This accounted for 55 percent of Baltimore's carries.
But the number of touches could be more evenly distributed this year. Buck Allen, Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon and Lorenzo Taliaferro will push Forsett for his starting job and opportunities. Allen and West, in particular, have had strong offseasons.
"I grew up on old-school running backs," Forsett said. "I love watching them play -- Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders, all those guys. Of course, if you are a running back -- everybody wants to be on the field all the time. I want to put myself in a position where they can’t take me off the field. That is my mentality. At the end of the day, everybody has their role, and I’ll let Coach decide that.”
Forsett, 30, also serves as the mentor to this group. None of the other healthy running backs are older than 25.
Is it difficult for Forsett to help out the younger running backs when they're competing for his job?
“I feel like me being here is greater than football," Forsett said. "Anytime I can help and serve my teammates, allow them to be better, I’m all for it. When I got into the league, it was guys like T.J. Duckett, Maurice Morris and Julius Jones that helped me along the way -- Edgerrin James -- those guys helped me be a pro and showed me the way. It is my duty to pass that on.”