Birk seeing same old Flacco during biggest week of QB’s career

January 30, 2013 | WNST Staff


(on his decision to return for this season) “I mean, I always say that I’m playing until I’m not. I told Art after the season, I just need some time. Every year is just exhausting and the way our season ended last year, it takes a while to process those emotions. For me, before my physical well-being, if I feel like I can do it again or if I want to do it I need to make sure that it’s good for my family. People say, ‘What do you mean it’s good for your family? You’re an NFL player. You make a ton of money.’ But it’s a big sacrifice on their part, on my wife and I have six kids. You have to coordinate a lot of things and you have to make sure everybody is on board. (My family) just kind of took off; we have a little place we go to and hang out for a couple of months and that’s what we did. I don’t try to set a timeline on it or rush the decision. I just wake up every day and just live and see how I feel. It just got to the point and made the decision that we could do it again.”


(on if how close the team was last year played into his decision to return) “A little bit. That was as tough of a way to end the season as you can probably have. It was kind of in the back of my mind, I sure would like to give it one more run with this group.”


(on the success of the offensive line) “We just study real hard and we work fundamentals and techniques. There is no secret formula, you just try to prepare as well as you can and then go out there and do your best. It’s a good feeling to know as an offensive lineman that you have a quarterback and you have receivers and running backs that we know if we do our job up front those guys are going to make plays and good things are going to happen for our football team.”


(on the most difficult task for an offensive lineman) “It kind of depends. It depends on the situation and who you’re going against, who your opponent is. The most important thing as an offense is to have balance and to be able to do both and then the defense can’t key in on one or the other and you can keep them off balance a little bit.”


(on what he will do after football) “It’s scary. I joke but I’m kind of serious. People say, ‘What are you going to do when you’re done?’ and that’s probably why I’m still playing. The unknown is scary in some ways. You’re never going to be able to replicate some of the feelings, some of the emotions that you get playing this game. But I think it’s also important too, that’s a good life lesson to have: to keep everything in perspective. If this is as good as it gets for you then you’re in trouble. Through spirituality, through your family, through relationships, a lot of things, you need to have everything in the right perspective and you need to realize all of this is going to be gone someday. It ends for everybody.”


(on if his family wants him to retire) “Sometimes but then in the offseason I’ll be home for a month or two and they will be like, ‘Isn’t it time for you to go back to work?’ I like to try to get involved and they have a rhythm at home. When we have the reentry period in the offseason where I’m home a lot more, there’s always a few bumps on reentry.”


(on how Joe Flacco has been this week) “Joe has been Joe. He’s always the same, that’s the thing about him that you have to love. He’s not impressed by anything or anything that he does. Obviously he’s a hot topic this week but it doesn’t really affect him one way or the other. I really don’t think he cares too much.”


(on his expectation for Joe Flacco on Sunday) “I expect for him to be Joe. To go out there and play solid like he always does. He’ll do whatever is asked of him to help our team win.”


(on if this is the final opportunity for a lot of guys on the team to win the Super Bowl) “I don’t know if this is it but there are a lot of guys that are getting up there in years (in the league) and this is their first opportunity and you never know when it could be your last. We talk about opportunity a lot, how you have to seize the moment and appreciate the moment and make the most of the opportunity. The future, who knows? I know teams go through that, they have a window that will close and then they rebuild but as far as the Ravens’ franchise overall, they’ve been pretty good for a long time. It’s a pretty big window that they’ve had but the future is unknown. You have to make the most of it.”