Saturday, August 07, 2010

Birk is back, says he's "dumber"

Matt Birk was back on the practice field Friday after being removed from PUP List. Filling in during his absence was a bulked up Chris Chester. Don’t be surprised to see Chester get an unusually high number of snaps during preseason games. The Ravens want to find out if Chester can become a quality center in the NFL or if they’ll have to invest in a free agent or draft pick for a center in 2011.

Asked recently about the complexities of the center position, Birk said that given how the speed of the game has increased during his career, it has effectively made the field smaller. Defenders now can line up on one side of the center yet with their speed and quickness they can create pressure on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. Consequently the line calls from the center position have become more mentally challenging. Birk added this quip to the tail end of the discussion:

“Then again, maybe I’ve taken too many hits to the head and I’m just dumber.”