Ravens center Gino Gradkowski seeks improvement after early offensive line struggles

Gino Gradkowski said he's looking to improve after some early-season struggles. - Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

The second-year center out of Delaware acknowledged the line has a lot of improvements to make moving forward.

Only one change occurred from last year's Ravens offensive line, which helped give the team a rushing average of 4.3  yards per carry.

That change was at center, where Gino Gradkowski was named the starter following Matt Birk's decision to retire. Gradkowski then beat out A.Q. Shipley in a preseason battle for the position and looked to be an integral part of the line for the 2013 season.

It hasn't worked out that way thus far and it's something Gradkowski has acknowledged.

"I'm trying to progress every week, get better every week," Gradkowski said. "There's still a lot of work to be done. There's still a lot of improvement to make. I'll keep working hard at that every day."

One of the areas Gradkowski says he can improve is with making the correct calls and being confident in them. Re-watching the Buffalo game, he noticed there were times where he'd make a call and then seem hesitant off the snap.

He'd like to improve his game to the point where he makes a call and goes with it no matter what, without second-guessing himself.

"I saw a little bit of that last Sunday that I was disappointed in myself with," Gradkowski said. "That's definitely one thing, you make the calls and you got to go. No matter what, you got to go. That's something I'll work on, something I need to get better with."

The Ravens have struggled running the ball, getting just 2.6 yards per carry in 2013. Ray Rice has 89 rushing yards on 30 carries in the three games he's appeared in.

Each play begins with the center, which has placed pressure on the second-year man out of Delaware. He's hoping to improve his communication with the other linemen and to work out the early kinks that have plagued the running game so far.

"We've been doing a decent job with the calls but they can be better," Gradkowski said. "Communication can always be better on my part. I'll do all that I can to get better with that."

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