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Even though he was used sparingly in his first season with the Ravens, veteran receiver Donte’ Stallworth said he is “open” to returning to Baltimore for another year.
But he wants to make sure he is used more if that’s the case.
“I definitely would like to play more next year, wherever I’m at and make the plays I’m used to making,” said Stallworth, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent.
Stallworth’s time in purple and black didn’t start well.
After a promising offseason, where his speed fashioned thoughts of him becoming the Ravens’ next deep threat, Stallworth fractured his foot in Baltimore’s third preseason game.
He missed seven weeks, and even when he returned, he never found a regular role with the offense.
Stallworth finished the season with only two receptions for 82 yards and five rushes – all end-arounds – for 45 yards.
“Breaking my foot last year got me behind a little bit,” Stallworth explained. “I still thought there were some possibilities for me to have some opportunities, but I understand the rigors of an NFL season because I’ve been doing this a long time.
There is really no one to blame for that.
“I would have liked to play more, but it’s just something that can be discussed, as far as being more involved.”
If there is a bright spot, the eight-year veteran thinks he still has a lot of miles left.
In addition to his limited 2010 campaign, Stallworth was out of football for the entire 2009 season and a leg injury limited him to 11 games in 2008.
“The situation for me is that I’ve been out of football for a long time, and I honestly don’t feel like I’ve played an NFL season since 2007,” Stallworth said. “I haven’t acquired the wear and tear on my body that a full season brings. I guess that’s the upside.”
Recently, Stallworth has been occupying his time as a position coach with Bommarito Performance Systems, an athletic development company in Miami, helping college prospects prepare for the NFL Scouting Combine.
He said the work with younger receivers keeps him feeling fresh. Whether that is in a Ravens uniform next season remains to be seen.
“Being out there with those guys and working out with them, it lets me reinforce the things that I need to work on with my game,” he stated. “It’s fun, because they’re always asking a lot of questions. That keeps me abreast of my position as it stands in the NFL.”