Are the Ravens missing Matt Birk
The Baltimore Ravens offensive line has struggled greatly this season and even the coaching staff is saying it needs to improve. Last season during the playoffs the line played great and helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl. Only one player is missing from that line and it is center Matt Birk.
Most people did not think his absence would be missed that much because of his age, he is now 37 years old. Head coach John Harbaugh admitted that the Ravens are missing his line calls. Birk may have been old and hurt for the Ravens but Birk is very smart on and off the field and rarely made mistakes.
Birk’s replacement Gino Gradkowski was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 draft to be just that, Birk’s replacement. This is the first season that Gradkowski is getting starting action in the NFL and he is experiencing some growing pains. I think Gradkowski has pass blocked well but the assignments he has given have not been there.
Gradkowski has also struggled opening up the running game, the whole offensive line has. Gradkowski is young and inexperienced he has a lot of room to grow.
This is how bad the running game has been… the Ravens have a total of 256 rushing yards and averaged 2.6 yards a carry. That is not good at all.
Birk was bigger than Gradkowski but I thought going into this season that a younger fresher center would be an even trade off for Birk. I can see Gradkowski improving throughout the year, right now a lot of the problems seem to be with his line calls and that comes with experience.