Ravens can’t find a healthy center

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Long-time NFL center Matt Birk will miss two or three weeks after undergoing knee surgery.  The Ravens had hoped to replace him temporarily with former Redskins center Casey Rabach, signing the veteran to a two-year deal.

The only problem?  Per Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun, Rabach failed his physical.

Unlike Deuce Lutui or Bryant McKinnie, who recently failed physicals in Cincinnati and Minnesota respectively for being too large physically, Rabach reportedly has a lingering shoulder injury.

And so the Ravens must move on to Plan C.  Other veteran centers remain, but guys like Olin Kreutz and Shaun O’Hara probably won’t want to be a short-term fix before assuming a spot on the bench once Birk is back.

That said, the Ravens could decide to part ways with Birk and hand the duties over to a younger and healthier alternative.

We hope that doesn’t happen — Birk is one of the league’s great guys — but the Harvard grad is more than smart enough to know that there’s a chance the team could decide to move on.  If he’s not healthy barely a week into camp, the Ravens should be concerned about his ability to remain healthy over the balance of the season.

42 responses to “Ravens can’t find a healthy center

  1. OL was going be the Ratbirds Achilles Heel this season, anyhow. The loss of Birk only compounds that problem.

  2. If Birk gets cut, I wonder if the Vikings will take him back. His favorite caterer is still serving the Vikes meals from what I hear. Maybe he and Moss could reunite over a nice hot meal there. LOL

  3. Harbs said today that “Matt Birk is our center” this year, he’ll be back in 3-4 weeks tops. We just need somebody to be a training camp body and back-up during the reg. season.

  4. I agree with everything but the problem isn’t off it’s def AND WE NEED CORNERS

  5. Flacco should just snap the ball to himself, I mean he thinks he is amazing anyways.

  6. Doesn’t matter who their center is, Phil Taylor of the Browns will give a beat down to who ever they got. Including that big mouth, knife wielding LB they have.

  7. That said, the Ravens could decide to part ways with Birk and hand the duties over to a younger and healthier alternative.

    What younger and healthier alternatives?

    Both O’Hara and Olin Kreutz are about same age as Birk. I’d like to hear from Giants and Bears fans how these guys looked last year and if these guys can still play at a high level. Were they let go/not signed because of money or performance?

  8. If Birk is only going to be out 2-3 weeks like they say, then it’s still his gig.

    But who knows? He’s 35 now, and if that knee doesn’t heal that quick, then the Ravens gotta make a move and quick. They most likely aren’t gonna get another shot at signing quality centers like O’Hara or Kreutz in a month. Kreutz is just as old as Birk, but that dude is still good. I can’t believe the Bears let him walk, especially with their patchwork line that gave up the most sacks last year.

  9. “If he’s not healthy barely a week into camp, the Ravens should be concerned about his ability to remain healthy over the balance of the season.”

    Because he’s not healthy a WEEK into camp they should be concerned about his ability to stay healthy during the season? That makes no sense. He’s healing and getting better.

  10. Hey Steeler trolls, shouldn’t you be worrying about who will be cut in order to free up the ~$10million! the Steelers are over the cap by?

  11. Yeah right 808raiderpenisenvy…..You wish you had a confident Qb who puts up Flacco like numbers
    Oh yeah I forgot you stole Kyle Boller from us …yeah thats right.

  12. Nothing but punk ass haters talkin smack… Steelers win by 3tds?? Ha, I wanna see it.. Even got a browns loudmouth yapping?? Unreal.. Where have all the real fans gone?? Amazing how u give some schmoe a voice on one of these blogs, and all of a sudden they know it all… See u in Bmore week 1 u clowns

  13. If you have already released a healthy Heap, Mason, Gregg and McGahee whats one more injured Birk. If the Ravens are making a move to get younger, which we can only assume they are doing with their changes, then why not here too. Kreutz is around 33 and so no young chicken there either, however, if healthy, is a good 3 to 4 year investment. I say move on with Kreutz and Birk and his knees should go ahead and retire. If we have no allegiance to draft picks like Heap, why have allegiance to an old pickup from the Vikings. Frankly, I can understand all the releases but Heap has me extremely angry with the Ravens front office. You will never attract players with heart if players watch you rip the heart our of other players. What Harbaugh and Newsome did to Heap will make it so they never will get respect or allegiance from their players. Point in case, every team has players volunteering to restructure their contracts to make cap room, not the Ravens, why, take a look at what they did to Heap and players are saying F U Ozzie and Harbaugh, we are getting it while we can because you have a rep for being back stabbers.

  14. Kreutz is garbage, great leadership but he is not a good center anymore. Remember the bears have a terrible oline yet they are willing to let him walk, think about that.

  15. Chill out it’s only surgery to clear up bursitis. He’ll make through this year. They just needed a camp body for 4 weeks.

  16. As a diehard Ravens fan, I kills me to read some of the posts these other Ravens “fans” put on here. Do you even know anything about our team?

    And if I hear one more Ravens fan complain about our corners … our corners were perfectly fine last year and we used our first round pick on a corner – what more do you want Ozzie to do? And yeah we cut alot of veterans and “great” Ravens, but sometimes you have to make business decisions … remember when we let Chris McAlister and Adalius Thomas go? Ravens nation freaked out … and guess what it all worked out.

    Take a deep breath, and trust the system. Ozzie and Coach Harbaugh will make it work.

  17. Birk screwed up in the playoffs on a shotgun to Flacco resulting in a Steeler PT. Good Bye

  18. wryly1 – nice try Cleveland loser………why don’t you get back to rooting for that high school team called the BRownstains!

  19. Man all you steelers fans are really tough, coming into a post about the ravens and saying your going to win by 21 points…..im just shaking. Truthfully, theres only been one blowout recently and it was about 4 years ago in Pittsburgh when Baltimore physically beat them down…..so dont talk about blowouts. The only thing the Squealers have done is re-sign toast, i mean ike taylor and still remain 10 mil over the cap….not to mention the self-proclaimed legend bashing his own players……those are bigger problems than finding a backup Center dont you think?

  20. @Tyler
    how about the game 4 years ago when Pittsburgh beat the ratbirds 38-7 on Monday Night. then following the season, Baltimore petitioned the league saying they didn’t want to play prime time in pittsburgh anymore…. LOL. Dont worry we’ll get under the cap, a lot of out players are restructuring their contracts to do so. We wont be losing anyone of importance.. sucks to be you

  21. Casey Rabach? Isn’t the commando the Steven Segal played in Under Siege? Man, they WILL be tough in the middle this year.

  22. @tyler200829 says:

    Four years ago when Ben Roethlisberger became the 2nd quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5 touchdowns in 1 half? The score was 35-0 Pittsburgh with 2 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. It could have been really ugly if the Steelers didn’t play mercy and run the ball exclusively for the 2nd half.

  23. @daburgher, how about 06′ when we won both games by scores 27-0 and 31-7? Yea you obviously chose not to remember that game did you? Complete destruction twice in one year, not to mention Pittsburgh missed the playoffs that year…..hmmmmmmm. how do you feel? id say punk’d

  24. “ratbirds” actually pre-dates the ravens since it is a nickname for the miami heat…um I mean the Philadelphia Eagles

  25. goodandfast says:

    Hey Steeler trolls, shouldn’t you be worrying about who will be cut in order to free up the ~$10million! the Steelers are over the cap by?


    Bad news: Harrison, Roethlisberger and Mendenhall restructured their contracts yesterday and the Steelers are now under the cap.

    Thanks for your concern though.

  26. Right because they restructured deals of a rapist, a self-proclaimed legend who bashes his teammates, and RB who thinks hes the president like anyone really cares what he thinks……great signings. And buddy if you had a brain youd know its by 3 mil tops, not even enough to sign charlie batch

  27. @tyler200829

    Ben was injured throughout 2006. Seems that’s the only way the Ravens can win; when he gets hit by a motor vehicle or he doesn’t play at all. Too bad you got rid of Stallworth he could have helped you with the first option.

  28. The Ravens have 3 rookie centers. I think the Ravens brass knew this would be the last of Birk. The injury is not career ending. He’ll be back for week 1, so don’t worry yourselves too much Steelers fans LOL! And by the time we meet again the Ravens will have a new center.

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