J.K. Dobbins discusses stellar rookie season, how Lamar Jackson helped him become successful in year one

J.K. Dobbins had an incredible rookie season for the Baltimore Ravens, emerging as one of the best running backs in a star-studded rookie class. Dobbins led all NFL running backs in yards per carry (6.01) while setting a Ravens’ rookie record with nine rushing touchdowns (third amongst all NFL rookies). His 805 rushing yards were also third among rookie running backs as Dobbins finished with a franchise-record seven consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. 

a baseball player wearing a helmet: Nov 10, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) scores a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium.

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Nov 10, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) scores a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium.

Dobbins closed out the regular season with six consecutive games of 50-plus rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, tying Eric Dickerson (1983) and Franco Harris (1972) for the longest rookie streak of its kind since the AFL-NFL merger. To cap off his rookie season, Dobbins was one of the several rookies involved with Panini America during Super Bowl week continuing a relationship that was built prior to his second-round selection by the Ravens. 

In an interview with CBSSports.com, Dobbins discussed his stellar rookie season and his goals heading into year two. 

This was a rookie year like no other. How were you able to shake off the disadvantages of a normal offseason and still have the strong rookie year like you did?

Dobbins: “It was a lot of hard work in the offseason getting my body ready to go. When I got drafted, I got into that playbook. I had to study hard since you couldn’t do the extra things you could do in past years. Learning the playbook and doing those things helped me out that rookie year.” 

How has Lamar Jackson helped you out during your rookie year? 

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Dobbins: “He’s helped me out a lot, whether it was talking to me about plays or things outside of football. He’s a brother to me, we love each other, he’s been like family. He can do it all. He can throw, he can run. He’s the jack of all trades.” 

You set the Ravens rookie record for rushing touchdowns. What has that meant for you? 

Dobbins: “Anytime you can do something like that, it’s a blessing. It’s not easy doing this in the NFL, so I was happy to be able to do that. Hopefully I’m able to keep that up and build more records to come.” 

What are your expectations heading into year two?

Dobbins: “Just go in and work hard. I don’t worry about stats and things like that. I’m just going to go in there and work hard and hopefully do better than what I did last year.” 

I’m a Penn State grad, but look over the border to Ohio State a lot. There are a lot of successful Ohio State players in the NFL, yourself included. What’s in the Ohio State formula that gets you guys ready for the NFL?

Dobbins: “The way we train, the way we operate, the culture, it’s all a package. They do such a good job making us NFL players because they get us ready for the NFL. From the equipment staff to the head coach, everybody is prepared. You have to be ready to work. You have to be ready to go at all times at Ohio State.” 

You got your first taste of the playoffs this year. What can the Ravens build upon after that tough playoff loss to the Bills? 

Dobbins: “We didn’t have our best game, but we know our potential. The goal is simple, just do better than we did last year.” 

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