Matt Birk a believer in Ravens center Gino Gradkowski

Matt Birk believes Gino Gradkowski has what it takes to succeed at center for the Ravens. - Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Said it takes time to become a good NFL center.

It was hard not to notice Gino Gradkowski's struggles at the center position in 2013.

But there's one person who is still in his corner, a believer that Gradkowski can be the center for the foreseeable future in Baltimore.

Former Ravens center Matt Birk, who Gradkowski took over, was back in Baltimore signing his new book All-Pro Wisdom: The 7 Choices That Lead to Greatness at Greetings & Readings this weekend. BaltimoreRavens.com's Ryan Mink visited to chat with Birk, and the two spoke about the issues Gradkowski went through in his second NFL season.

"He prepares the right way and does everything the right way,"  Birk told Mink. "Those are the kinds of things you want. There’s no substitute for game experience in the NFL and I’m sure Gino learned a lot. He’ll pick up right where he left off and be better this year."

It took Birk three years before he became a starting center in the NFL, with the Minnesota Vikings. He ended up playing 15 seasons and was named to six Pro Bowl rosters.

"It’s a process. It’s a journey," Birk told the team website. "I think the best thing Gino has going for him is his attitude and his character. That comes through when you’re playing football. As a Ravens fan myself, I don’t worry about Gino."


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