Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen has started every game in his two-year career but saw his playing time curtailed last season.
After netting 80 percent of the reps as a rookie, Queen was on the field for 76 percent last season. In Year 3, he doesn't want to come off the field.
"That is very important to me, especially seeing last year how I didn't get on the field that much," Queen said, via the team's official website. "This offseason, I'm just focused on being in shape this year and just coming back being stronger, and like I said being more vocal and understanding stuff now. I'm comfortable now, everything is in a rhythm, so now that I can be in those positions, I can stay on the field all the time now."
Inconsistent play led to Queen being on the sideline more often than he'd like in his second season as he shifted from middle linebacker to a WILL role. The 22-year-old's speed gives him the chance to be a difference-maker as a rangy tackling machine if his coverage improves and he cleans up the nuances.
"God touched 'PQ' [with] natural ability, and he works hard at it," Ravens inside linebackers coach Zach Orr said. "I honestly believe that [if] he continues to get better, continues to grow, continues to work on the little details, he can be one of the best linebackers in the National Football League."
With the Ravens switching coordinators from Wink Martindale to Mike Macdonald, Queen wants to prove he can be an every-down player.
"I wanted to do it quick -- but I understand things take time," Queen said. "Somebody actually asked me, is 'What's the one thing that you would tell your high school self now?' And I would be like, 'Patience is the biggest thing.'
"Two years down, one more year to look forward to for big things. It's Year 3 now, so you know what time it is."