Ravens acquire center A.Q. Shipley in trade with Colts, says he's 'fired up'
By By Jeff Zrebiec and Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun|
May 09, 2013 | 10:22 AM
Looking to add some competition for Gino Gradkowski and more versatility along the offensive line, the Ravens agreed to send a conditional 2014 draft pick today to the Indianapolis Colts for center A.Q. Shipley, both teams announced.
The trade will become official when Shipley passes a physical.
"I'm fired up, I really am," Shipley told The Baltimore Sun. "It's a great opportunity for me. I thought I played well enough as a starter to earn a little respect around the league and get a little buzz. The Ravens get a hard worker with me. I had to work for everything I got my whole life.
"I grew up in Pittsburgh, which is a blue-collar town. I've never let anything stand in my way. I grew up with a chip on my shoulder and I've been pretty successful by working hard, studying, doing everything I can to give myself every possibility to succeed.
Shipley, a seventh-round pick out of Penn State by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, started five games at center for Indianapolis last season and saw action in 14 total games. At 6 feet 1 and 309 pounds, Shipley can also play guard.
He was expendable because the Colts have veteran starting center Samson Satele returning, along with 2012 fourth-round pick Khaled Holmes.
With the Ravens, Shipley is expected to compete with Gradkowski for the starting center spot, which became open when Matt Birk retired. The Ravens also drafted center-guard Ryan Jensen in the sixth round.
The Ravens acquired the final two years of Shipley's contract. He's due base salaries of $470,000 and $580,000.
"I can't worry about the other guy is my main approach to competition," said Shipley, who's traveling to Baltimore today and taking his physical Friday. "I can only control what I can do, work as hard as I possibly can, study hard, play hard, play fast, strong and smart. I approach every day like it's another day, like it's my job. Whatever happens, someone else will make that decision."
Shipley said he's familiar with Gradkowski because they're both Pittsburgh natives.
"I've spoken to him a few times, I knew he started his career at West Virginia and was a big name coming out of Pittsburgh a few years after me," Shipley said. "We talked a few times last year heading into the draft and were supposed to work out together, but never got to. We'll be working together a lot now."
Before signing with the Colts in 2012, Shipley had been a practice squad member for the Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles following an All-American career at Penn State.
This marks Shipley's second time being coached by Ravens run game coordinator Juan Castillo, a former Eagles offensive line coach.
"I really love the way Juan coaches," Shipley said. "He does a great job of working technique and getting the most out of guys."
In other Ravens news, the team cut undrafted rookie offensive guard Jeff Braun (West Virginia, Winters Mill) and agreed to terms with undrafted rookie cornerback Moe Lee (Utah) and safety Gary Walker (Idaho).