On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Feb. 11, 2016 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST Poe Grams Poe will be available to surprise your loved one at work, home, or school. Poe will be stocking up for your Valentine at Giant Food, Smyth Jewelers, and Merritt Athletic Clubs to create a memorable experience that your loved one won’t forget!
  • Fri., Feb. 12, 2016 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST Poe Grams Poe will be available to surprise your loved one at work, home, or school. Poe will be stocking up for your Valentine at Giant Food, Smyth Jewelers, and Merritt Athletic Clubs to create a memorable experience that your loved one won’t forget!
  • Sat., Feb. 20, 2016 10:00 AM EST Cheerleader Prep Clinic The purpose of the clinic is to provide prospective cheerleaders with the best preparation for try-outs on March 5th.
  • Sat., Mar. 05, 2016 9:30 AM EST Cheerleader Tryouts Come join us and become part of the best cheerleading program in the NFL!
  • Sat., Mar. 12, 2016 11:00 AM EST Playmakers Tryouts The Playmakers are the Ravens promotional team. Come join us and become part of the best organization in the NFL.
  • Sat., Apr. 02, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Marching Ravens Tryouts Come join us and become part of the best marching band in the NFL!
  • Sat., Apr. 02, 2016 2:00 PM EDT Torrey Smith Charity Basketball Game Former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith announced that his annual charity basketball game will return to Baltimore on April 2 at Royal Farms Arena.
  • Thu., Apr. 28, 2016 8:00 PM EDT NFL Draft The 2016 NFL Draft will be held from April 28-30 in Chicago, IL.
  • Fri., Apr. 29, 2016 7:00 PM EDT NFL Draft The 2016 NFL Draft will be held from April 28-30 in Chicago, IL.
  • Sat., Apr. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT NFL Draft The 2016 NFL Draft will be held from April 28-30 in Chicago, IL.

News

Print
RSS

Matt Birk Playing Well, Not Thinking Of Stopping

Posted Jan 26, 2013

John Harbaugh said Matt Birk is playing as well as he has at any point as a Raven.


It’s that time of the year for Matt Birk.

It’s the time when reporters ask the 36-year-old center if he’s going to retire after the season.

“Hold on, I’m checking the eight ball,” Birk said with a smile Saturday.

As Birk prepares for his first Super Bowl in his 15th season, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether this is his final run. Even Birk hasn’t decided what to do. It’s not that he is running out the argument that he’s only focused on playing the game. It’s that he truly doesn’t know.

“I’m just trying to live in the moment,” Birk said. “That’s just kind of my mindset. It drives my wife nuts, but that’s just not how I operate.”

Why should Birk retire?

Head Coach John Harbaugh said Birk is playing at a very high level. He more than held his own against New England’s Vince Wilfork in the AFC championship, a matchup he lost a year ago.

“To my eye, he is playing the best football that he’s played since he’s been here – right now, at this point,” Harbaugh said. “To have that be true at the end of a 24-game season is very impressive.”

Birk didn’t miss a start for the seventh consecutive season. He joked that he can probably count on one hand how many times he’s been in the training room.

“I don’t tape my ankles or wrists or anything,” Birk said. “I walk through [the training room] and grab Q-tips and clean my ears.”

The Ravens drafted Birk’s eventual replacement, Gino Gradkowski of Delaware, in the fourth round last year. Gradkowski showed a flash that he’s ready for the big-time with a standout game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17.

But Baltimore also re-signed Birk to a three-year contract this past offseason. So he still has two years left on his deal if he and the team want him to continue.

“I’m not sure about Matt’s plans, and if he decides to come back next year, that’d be awesome,” Harbaugh said. “Matt Birk has been a huge part of this program for the last four years. He has been a huge part of Joe [Flacco’s] development.”

Birk has six children and a wife at the top of his priorities. But he’s also still enjoying football – especially as the Ravens are winning and headed to the Super Bowl.

That allows him to keep pushing off his inevitable retirement.

“Most of my friends through football, guys my age, are done playing,” Birk said. “They always tell me, ‘Never retire. Take it from us. The damage to your body is already done so keep going. The real world is not all it’s cracked up to be.’

“This is a pretty unique way to make a living. You’ve got to enjoy it, because you work too hard not to enjoy it.”


Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos