Competition fuels Ravens' progress

Competition fuels Ravens' progress
May 9, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Coaches often believe that competition can make a player perform better. In football, more and more coaches want players to beat out others when it comes to their job -- that way it gets the best out of people. 

The Ravens certainly appear to be big believers in that theory.

Take a look at what they're doing with their centers for the upcoming season. They could have easily handed the job over the Gino Gradkowski after he spent a year under the watch of veteran Matt Birk, who retired after the Ravens won the Super Bowl a few months ago.

But the Ravens don't like to do that. First of all, Gradkowski has little experience and even though he knows the system, it might take him some time to get adjusted as the starter. The acquisition of A.Q. Shipley on Thursday means there's going to be a bit of a battle for that job. 

John Harbaugh had said earlier that Gradkowski had the inside track to the job. Does that change now with this deal? Or with the drafting of Ryan Jensen? Or is everything still the same.?

The Ravens haven't said yet, but one thing that is certain-- there's going to be some good competition at center, and Harbaugh really likes that. It makes for good battles and pushes players to their limits. It also makes them better. 

Who's going to be the starting center this year? It still could be Gradkowski. But he'll have to make his way through a battle to get the job, and that's what the Ravens like to see.