Ravens' Birk Ready To Reload Offensive Line

BALTIMORE MD - OCTOBER 24: Matt Birk #77 of the Baltimore Ravens snaps the ball against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24 2010 in Baltimore Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bills 37-34. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Matt Birk is back for his 15th season to help the Ravens, once again, try and reach the Super Bowl. Birk will also take on the familiar role as mentor to the young linemen on the Ravens roster looking to make a career in the NFL.

"It’s never been a passion thing," Birk said of his decision to return. "I wanted to feel physically well enough to play. It’s not fair to the team, it’s not fair to anybody to come back if you don’t physically feel you can do it or aren’t mentally bought in. I think you have to physically feel good to mentally be able to do it."

Last season the offensive line struggled when left guard Ben Grubbs went down with an injury and this season the team will be with out his services again as he signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency. Birk will be tutoring Grubbs' replacement and possibly his own in 2012.

Before the draft the left guard position seemed to be second year tackle Jah Reid's to lose. Now the Ravens have drafted two young players, in early rounds, capable of taking over the open position on the Ravens' line.

At the moment the favorite would seem to be Rookie Tackle Kelechi Osemele, the Ravens second round pick. Birk will sandwich the newcomer with left tackle Bryant McKinnie, another long time NFL veteran, giving many years of knowledge and experience to learn from.

"It’s nice just getting around the guys, getting a feel for them and developing personal relationships. I guess it’s a chemistry building process," Birk said.

"They’re guys who have size, strength and explosion. They’ve got all those things. From what I’ve seen, what I understand, they’re hard-working, right-way guys and that’s what you have to be to play offensive line in this league."

Birk will also be the tutor who will hopefully be the Ravens center of the future in Gino Gradkowski. Gradkoski could also be in the running for the open guard position but did play center at Delaware. Gino's brother Bruce is a veteran NFL quarterback so he has other areas from with to draw knowledge as well but guys like Matt Birk will be key to his development and the Ravens should be very happy to have him back this season to teach the young guys.

Having guys like Birk around to teach and mentor the young players is what keeps a team like the Ravens from having to rebuild. Instead they just reload along the way...

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Baltimore Beat Down

You must be a member of Baltimore Beat Down to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Baltimore Beat Down. You should read them.

Join Baltimore Beat Down

You must be a member of Baltimore Beat Down to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Baltimore Beat Down. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker