Ravens center Matt Skura has had trouble directing his snaps the past two weeks and made multiple mistakes during his team’s 23-17 loss to the New England Patriots Nov. 15, errors Baltimore cannot afford in its final seven regular-season games.
Ravens left guard Bradley Bozeman, who was the starting center at Alabama from 2016-2017, said Skura did the best he could in the rainy conditions at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and is confident Skura will bounce back.
“In great conditions, it’s hard to play center and snap the football,” Bozeman said on Glenn Clark Radio Nov. 17. “Everyone thinks it’s so easy, but you have to think about [how] you’re snapping the ball with your opposite hand, you’re trying to punch a 350-pound nose guard across from you, get great leverage, great technique, great balance, and either sell the run when it’s a pass or move him off the ball when it’s a run. It’s a tough position to play. Snapping the ball is just one of those small, difficult things that you don’t even realize.”
Skura struggled with his snaps against the Indianapolis Colts Nov. 8 due to a cut on his thumb. Against the Patriots, Skura had two key mistakes in particular: a third-quarter snap to running back Mark Ingram in the Wildcat formation on fourth-and-1 — which led to a field goal for New England — and a fourth-quarter snap to quarterback Lamar Jackson that resulted in a 16-yard loss in the team’s second-to-last drive of the game.
“[Snapping the ball is] about keeping your wrist locked. There’s technique to it. It’s a difficult job, especially in those circumstances,” Bozeman said of the wet conditions. “The refs were trying to keep the ball as dry as they could but by the time they set it down, it was already soaked again. It’s a tough situation to be in. You know, Matt had a couple of bad snaps. I’ve been there myself. The guy played his butt off the entire game and did the best he could with what was given to him. Matt’s a competitor. He’s going to fix it this week and he’ll be ready to go for Tennessee.”
The Ravens didn’t do enough to win in New England, but they will have to bring the energy against the Titans (6-3) Nov. 22 in what is shaping up to be one of the most important matchups of the Ravens’ season.
Baltimore is now 6-3 and has lost more games than it did all of last season (14-2). The Ravens posted 357 total offensive yards (242 passing and 115 rushing) with just one turnover against the Patriots, but they scored their fewest points since Jackson took over as the starting quarterback in 2018, spanning 31 regular-season contests.
Baltimore has also been racking up injuries recently, losing tight end Nick Boyle to a season-ending knee injury Nov. 15. Other key injuries include All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley (season-ending ankle injury) and shorter-term ones like defensive end Calais Campbell (calf), cornerback Jimmy Smith (ankle) and nose tackle Brandon Williams (ankle).
“No matter what the circumstances are, it wasn’t a good enough effort to win. And that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to win,” Bozeman said. “No matter what we get thrown at us, we just have to find a way to win and get the job done. That’s every phase of the ball. We all know that. We all keep each other to that high standard no matter the circumstance or the situation.”
Bozeman will be back to work shortly after the Titans game ends. He and his wife, Nikki, created a nonprofit organization, The Bradley and Nikki Bozeman Foundation to promote philanthropic, charitable and grassroots community activities. The Bozeman’s Thanksgiving meal drive is on Monday, Nov. 23 from 1-4 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium. The team will be helping to provide families in need with Thanksgiving meals. Donations for the food drive can be made on bozemancharity.com.
“The offensive and defensive lines are coming together to do this food drive,” Nikki said. “Basically … don’t reinvent the wheel. It’s the same concept for the biweekly distributions we’ve been doing in Mount Pleasant, but they’re going to be at the stadium. They’re going to be in Lot H of M&T Bank Stadium. We’re going to have cars drive through and they’re going to get their full Thanksgiving meal.”
For more from Bozeman, listen to the full interview here:
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