Less than a year removed from his playing days at Alabama, rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley is happy to be back on the football field in preparation for the regular season.
Throughout OTA’s and minicamp, the Ravens first-round draft pick has looked like a rookie who is ready to make an impact for the team in 2014.
As training camp opened up on Tuesday for rookies, quarterbacks and veterans returning with injuries, Mosley has seemingly picked up where he left off. While the youngster realizes it’s a learning process, the two-time All-American is ready to strap the pads on.
In fact, Mosley told members of the media on Tuesday that he believes he is slower without the pads on.
“One of the good things when I get in pads, I don’t have to be as slow as I’ve been just in shoulder pads, or just in our shells where you can’t really go as fast or fit up on blockers, things like that,”
“So when we get pads on, it’ll kind of just be free football. You have to execute your plays; at the end of the day you have to be athletic and make your plays. So I feel like when we get in pads I’ll be able to do that.”
Mosley understands the importance of a successful training camp and realizes the competition is stiff when it comes to the inside linebacker position regardless of where he was drafted.
“I can speak for our inside linebacker room that the competition is going to start as soon as we get our pads on,” he remarked following practice on Tuesday. “Coach ‘Wink’ [Don Martindale] will tell you, like he told us [that] this is one of the best linebacking groups that he’s had in a while. Everybody knows what to do, everybody is athletic, everybody is fast and everybody wants to play.
“So, if we’re going to have to [prove ourselves], we’ll have to do it on special teams. But whoever plays on Sunday, we’re going to have to show [up] in the preseason and while we’re in these camp practices.”
Having gone against Joe Flacco and the Ravens new offense earlier this summer, Mosley has caught the eye of Flacco and has made his presence known.
“[Mosley] is a good athlete. He is a natural, man – looks like he covers ground out there really well,” he responded when asked about Mosley.
“It’ll be interesting, once we get the pads on, to see some of the running backs and [Mosley] and some of our other guys go toe to toe a little bit. He is definitely a natural athlete that can move around out there and cover some ground.”
Head coach John Harbaugh is happy with the performance of Mosley thus far and is anxious to see how the rookie produces once the pads are on.
“Once we get [further into camp], once [things] start flying a little faster, he’s going to make decisions more in game-like situations. We’ll have a better feel for that [then]. But so far, so good.”
Mosley is certainly a guy to keep an eye on this summer as training camp heats up.
If the youngster can take his game to the next level without too many bumps in the road, the Ravens can rest easily knowing they made the right choice with their 17th overall pick.
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