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Around The AFC North: Ravens Center Matt Birk Expected To Return

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According to the Baltimore Sun, Former Minnesota Vikings and current Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk recently told Ravens head coach John Harbaugh that he plans to return for 2011 -- which is convenient with the Collective Bargaining Agreement issues looming. Last month Birk expressed "uncertainty" about returning after dealing "with neck, elbow and knee injuries in his two seasons with the Ravens."

"When you have injuries, it's hard to remember what it's like when you feel good", said Birk. "It's part of the deal. It's what you signed up for. The older you get, the more you have to embrace that part of the challenge. Otherwise, it comes to the point where you say you can't do it anymore."

Pro Football Focus ranks Birk, not just as the Ravens best offensive lineman in 2010, but as the league's best center, grading out at 26.0 with a run block grade of 17.3. For comparisons sake, Kyle Cook graded out with an overall score of 4.7 (ranked 12th in the NFL) with a run block score of 7.3 and a pass block score of -3.3. [How Pro Football Focus grades]

Our Around The AFC North series will be presented all offseason in an effort to keep Bengals fans and CincyJungle.com readers on what's going on in the division.