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Gino Gradkowski 'looking forward to competition' with center Jeremy Zuttah

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Zuttah expected to be the starting center this fall.

Gino Gradkowski isn't backing down from the challenge of competing with Jeremy Zuttah this offseason.
Gino Gradkowski isn't backing down from the challenge of competing with Jeremy Zuttah this offseason.
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Ravens traded for Jeremy Zuttah to be their starting center for the upcoming 2014 season,

That doesn't mean Gino Gradkowski will go down without a fight. Though he said all the right things about being excited to meet Zuttah in the near future, it sure has to worry the third-year center about his future with the franchise.

Speaking to BaltimoreRavens.com's Garrett Downing, Gradkowski said this is just another reminder of the business aspect of the NFL.

"You expect competition every year. That’s the nature of this league and that’s the nature of this business. We got a good guy in Jeremy. I’m excited to meet him and I think he’s a good addition to our o-line, but I’m looking forward to the competition."

Gradkowski started every game of the 2013 season but struggled throughout. Baltimore's backup center, A.Q. Shipley, wasn't given the chance to unseat him because he had to step in for an injured Kelechi Osemele at left guard.

Bringing in Zuttah gives Baltimore four centers on the roster heading into offseason workouts, with Ryan Jensen rounding out the group. You'd have to think at least one's roster spot is in jeopardy.

But that's not something Gradkowski can think about. As he told Downing, his mind is focused on being prepared for the rigors of offseason training with the team.

"I’m trying to get to get bigger and stronger. I’m trying to eat right, work out, work hard. Things are going well this offseason and I can’t wait to get started."