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Justin Forsett: 'What is running back by committee?'

The Baltimore Ravens backfield enters training camp as a jumble of questions.

Presumptive starter Justin Forsett is coming off a season-ending broken arm. Buck Allen had fumbling problems last year. Lorenzo Taliaferro hasn't proven to be a consistent option and has a limited skill set. Kenneth Dixon is a rookie. Terrance West has played for three teams in two years. Trent Richardson eats faster than he runs.

In short: Baltimore's backfield seems destined for committee work in 2016.

When asked how he felt about a running back by committee approach, Forsett jokingly feigned ignorance.

"What's that?" Forsett said, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

A reporter -- either playing along or haplessly duped by sarcasm -- attempted to explain a running back by committee. Forsett stuck to his bit.

"What is running back by committee? I don't really know what that is," he said, tongue still in cheek.

The reporter persisted once more -- come on, intrepid newsperson! Get the joke! -- to explain the concept.

"Yeah, I don't understand that!" Forsett cracked, laughing.

Forsett's comedy bit oozed with sarcasm, but it underscores the idea that the career journeyman wants to carry the load.

"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."

One thing Forsett has in his favor is that the running game did struggle last season, especially when he was out of the lineup. On the balance, the Ravens fell to 1,478 total rushing yards in 2015, down from 2,019 in 2015.

But the 30-year-old back himself doesn't exactly have a history of consistent success. His first season in Baltimore in 2014 was a Pro Bowl year, but it was also his first with more than 120 carries and more than 650 yards.

While Forsett believes he can carry the load, the Ravens seemed destined to shuffle carries, at least until the players separate themselves on the field.

NFL Media's Mike Garafolo noted on NFL Network's NFL HQ Thursday morning that rookie Kenneth Dixon has a "legitimate shot" to earn snaps early in the season. The fourth-round pick provides shiftiness, one-cut explosiveness and a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Dixon will have to fend off several other backups for carries, but he owns the talent to create a true committee attack in Baltimore -- even if Forsett will pretend not to know what that means.

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