C Matt Birk
You’ve heard the saying “the brains behind the operation”. Matt Birk represents those brains. Not because he was a center, not because he went to Harvard (though that is very impressive), but because he was a student of the game all the way through the day he decided to hang up his cleats.
A 6th round pick out of Minnesota who spent 10 seasons in his hometown with the Vikings, Bird racked up 6 Pro Bowls, 2 All-Pro selections, and an Ed Block Courage Award in his career. But it wasn’t until his arrival in the “other” purple uniform when Birk became a Super Bowl champion.
Birk brought a plethora of experience to the Ravens’ o-line, as well as leadership. He played a big role in the development of Joe Flacco, and today, he’s the director of football development.
Sep 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens guard Kelechi Osemele (72) prepares to block Cleveland Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo (51) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens won 14 – 6. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
G Kelechi Osemele
Taken in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft, Osemele started 14 out of 16 games during his rookie campaign. He helped the team finish with a 12-4 record, win a very decisive rivalry game for the AFC championship, and secure a Super Bowl win.
Though his next season would be cut short due to a much needed back surgery, Osemele’s absence was felt as the offensive line became the weak spot of the 2013 Ravens offense. The regression was bad enough that it ultimately led to a missed playoffs opportunity.
Upon his return from back surgery in 2014, Osemele started all 16 games, helping the Ravens return to form and to the playoffs. At the same time, Osemele earned himself PFF All-Pro honors for 2014.
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