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Sylvester Williams

Mixed bag for Gino Gradkowski in his first NFL start

Mixed bag for Gino Gradkowski in his first NFL start

Last Thursday, for the first time since the 2008 season, someone not named Matt Birk started for the Ravens at center. Gino Gradkowski, a second-year player out of small-school Delaware, made his first NFL start there. To the novice eye -- this writer included -- evaluating offensive line play can be a difficult endeavor, especially at center, where that player is in the middle of the mess and sometimes ends up blocking no one in particular. When I went back and watched the game again, I saw many plays when Gradkowski held his ground against big Denver Broncos defensive linemen Kevin Vickerson and Sylvester Williams. There were also a few plays when Gradkowski got shoved back into...

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