After months of speculation, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh told members of the media in attendance for the second day of OTA’s that the team will have a new starting center this fall — Bradley Bozeman.
Harbaugh confirmed that Bradley Bozeman will be team’s starting center.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) May 26, 2021
“Moving forward, he’ll be the center, and then we’ll let guys compete from there. He’s our starting center today,” said Harbaugh. “We’ll see where it goes, but I have a lot of confidence in Bradley [Bozeman]. I think he’s doing a great job, and I’m very excited about it.”
The fourth-year pro started every game at left guard in each of the last two seasons but will now be returning to his natural position, which he played in college at the University of Alabama. Since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft and then winning a starting job entering his second season, Bozeman has been an integral part of the Ravens’ revolutionary and historic rushing attack.
He took the vast majority of first-team reps at center during Wednesday’s practice that was open to the media. After multiple snap infractions at inopportune times last season, it was refreshing to read the reports of no such occurrences with Bozeman at the helm.
Trigger warning: a Ravens center snapping the ball.— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) May 26, 2021
New starter Bradley Bozeman was reliable all afternoon, just as he was at Alabama. pic.twitter.com/X8qnYEOUi5
“He’s very comfortable in there,” said Harbaugh. “He’s making the calls. He’s moving very naturally as a center. He’s snapping the ball very well. I think that’s where we’re at – that’ll be our starting point.”
The Ravens were rumored to be in the market for a new starting center at the beginning of the offseason and Harbaugh told reporters that they had a plan in place for the position. After they didn’t sign a veteran in free agency or select one in this year’s draft, all the signs pointed to Bozeman moving over to man the spot.
Bozeman entering the final year of his rookie contract and has more than proven himself on the field with his consistent play. He’s also stood out in the locker room with his leadership and in the community, where his philanthropic efforts earned him a 2020 nomination for the Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award.
I foresee a contract extension in Bozeman’s very near future and wouldn’t be surprised if he inked a new deal before the start of the season, or at least before the end of it. The competition to fill his newly vacated left guard will be one of the fiercest in training camp between Ben Powers, rookie Ben Cleveland, and others.