OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Bradley Bozeman is moving back to his natural position at center this season for the Ravens.
The move should benefit both Bozeman, quarterback Lamar Jackson and the team.
Bozeman was flawless snapping balls to Jackson during offseason workouts. The Ravens are hopeful that those performances carry over to the regular season.
“Very smooth," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I’m always on him, because we have a thing around here about snaps – don’t we all – from last year. So, we’re going to be looking at those snaps. If he’s just a little low or a little high, it’s like, ‘Boze … [Bradley Bozeman] – low. High.’
"He’s all over it, so he’s done great. He looks very natural. I saw a quote that he said, ‘Center is my natural position.’ I believe it by watching him out there. So, [he] just keeps building and keeps getting better."
Bozeman made 31 career starts at center for Alabama and it would be a natural transition in the Ravens offense. Baltimore will have an anchor in the middle of the line — an area where the team struggled last season.
"I played there four years at Alabama. I played a little bit in high school," Bozeman said on Ravens' "The Lounge" podcast. "I feel like it's my natural position. I think I really thrive there. I'm really excited about the transition and moving back in."
This past season, Baltimore had ongoing challenges at the center position. Matt Skura lost his starting job midway through the season because of deficient snaps, but his replacement, Patrick Mekari, also had some struggles.
In the divisional round of the AFC playoffs against the Buffalo Bills, Mekari sailed a snap over Jackson's head near the end of the third quarter. Jackson suffered a concussion trying to retrieve the ball near his own end zone.
Bozeman should be able to remedy those challenges.
"I've always had a close relationship with all my quarterbacks," Bozeman said. "It's very important to have that open line of communication, for him to be able to come to me and say, 'Your snap was off high left.' And I can come to him and say, 'Your hand placement needs to be more to your right, you need to be more firm.' It's huge to be able to communicate those things. Him and I are responsible for making things right. He's got the receivers and I've got the o-line."