Bryan Mattison, the son of former Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, was a member of the team's practice squad the past two seasons, at times shuffling back and forth from offensive line to defensive line.
His father is now coaching at the University of Michigan, so perhaps the notion that nepotism is what kept Mattison around will go out the window now that the Iowa graduate is running with the first-team offense in Matt Birk's absence. Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that Mattison will start Friday against the Chiefs.
"He actually did a very nice job [against the Eagles last week], and that was a big game for him," Harbaugh said. "That was one of those games where the guys really have got everything on the line -- the first time he had ever played the position -- and if he didn't do well, it might have been the last time he ever played it realistically. And he did really well, so that's a plus, but that's not our starting center."
No, that would be the veteran Birk, who should be ready for the season opener against the Steelers if you believe Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. The team might also sign a veteran interior lineman.
But Mattison is making a claim for a promotion from the practice squad. A strong performance against the Chiefs, who with a 3-4 defense will plop a nose tackle a few inches away from his face Friday, will earn him more opportunities the rest of the preseason as he battles for a spot on the roster. And if he doesn't make it, showing up on tape in a good way could help him get a job elsewhere.
Your turn: Will Bryan Mattison make the 53-man roster?