Mark Ingram proud to take J.K. Dobbins under his wing for Ravens
Mark Ingram has embraced the role of big brother to rookie J.K. Dobbins.
Even though the Ravens rookie will be fighting for carries, Ingram is happy to mentor the young playmaker.
“He’s a great, young ’back. He had a great career at Ohio State," Ingram said. "That’s what this league is all about – especially running backs - is being able to pay the game forward. I have guys who paid the game forward to me. So, just to be able to pass the game down, pass knowledge down – anything that he wants to know – I’m there to help him and there to support him. That’s that; you’re only as strong as your weakest link.
"So, you try to bring everybody on. You try to bring everybody to playing at a high level [and] everybody competing at a high level. He’s a good, young dude. He reached out to me when he got drafted. He didn’t have to do that. We’ve been talking over the offseason and we’re finally in the building together, so that chemistry will keep getting stronger and I’ll keep helping him.”
The Ravens were not in the market for a running back in this year's draft, but Dobbins was just too good of a player to ignore when he fell to them in the second round with the 55th overall pick.
However, the addition of Dobbins has created a potential quandary for the Ravens.
All three of Baltimore's running backs — Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill — are still on the roster from last season. Quarterback Lamar Jackson also played a key role with that explosive attack, and he carried the ball 176 times for 1,206 yards rushing — sixth-best in the league and the most by a quarterback in NFL single-season history.
Ingram was second on the team with 1,018 yards on 202 carries, followed by Edwards (711 yards on 133 carries) and Hill (225 yards on 58 carries).
The question is whether there are enough carries for all of them?
As far as general manager Eric DeCosta is concerned, that's a good problem.
"I think with our offense we want to add as many talented guys as we can at skill positions," DeCosta said. "So, having running backs is really, really important. This was a guy that was, in my opinion, one of the very best in college football this year. He's a very talented guy with electric skills and played at a very high level in a really good conference [on] one of the best teams in college football, so we're excited to get him."
Dobbins is not overly concerned about his role in the rotation. He plans to work hard and earn his carries.
He's happy to have a player like Ingram in his corner.
"Mark is going to be like an older brother to me," Dobbins said. "He’s definitely helped me; it’s been all good. He’s helping me with anything I ask. Anytime I text him, he texts back. It’s been great. It’s great to have someone like that in my room, because, like you said, he’s a vet. He could tell me, ‘Get up out of my way, you’re a rookie,’ but he doesn’t do that. I’m so grateful to have him.”