The Ravens offensive line will make or break their team this year. With its success, Joe Flacco could take this team to a run through the playoffs. With its failure, the Ravens could struggle to win a Wild Card in the AFC.
The centerpiece of the Ravens offensive line is veteran (and coincidentally their center) Matt Birk who was sidelined for the majority of training camp while recovering from left knee surgery. While it appeared that Birk would be ready for week one, his quote to the Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley has me worried that he might not see any playing time on Sunday.
“I hope to [play],” Birk said. “I’ll just do everything I can to get ready. If I can’t, I can’t.” Wait what? “If I can’t, I can’t,” what does that mean? I certainly hope that Birk, a Harvard graduate and 14 year veteran, is speaking in Bill Belichick-like-secret-code in an attempt to hide information from the Steelers. It’s a realistic possibility. If he can’t play then I want him to at least act a little more concerned.
Of course the Ravens signed a real backup center this weekend, Andre Gurode, who will replace Bryan Mattison as the team’s number two center. Good move. But if Gurode is forced to start, he’ll be the second guy on that line that didn’t see any preseason playing time with the Ravens as Baltimore opted to rest Bryant McKinnie in their final preseason game.
Let’s hope that Birk will be ready to go. Steve Bisciotti and Andy Moeller have been confident the past couple weeks that he’ll be ok.