It turns out Matt Birk knew what he was doing when he left the Minnesota Vikings for the Baltimore Ravens -- even if he tries to downplay that notion.

"I rarely know what I'm doing," Birk said Monday, Jan. 21, less than 24 hours after the Ravens had upset New England 28-13 for a Super Bowl berth against San Francisco on Feb. 3.

Drafted by the Vikings in 1998, Birk played in Minnesota through 2008. Rather than re-sign with the Vikings, the six-time Pro Bowl center from St. Paul chose Baltimore after meeting with coach John Harbaugh. Birk was convinced he could get to the Super Bowl with Harbaugh.

"Absolutely," the Harvard and Cretin-Derham Hall grad said by phone from Baltimore. "The year before I got here, (the Ravens) went to the AFC championship game. Coach Harbaugh is a great leader. He's a leader of men. I just bought into his program and his philosophy. I thought, 'You know what, his approach and how he handles the team is the right way to do it.'

"As sad as I was to leave Minnesota, playing the last four years for him, I feel very lucky to play for a guy like him."

Birk said it was a "huge decision" to sign with the Ravens after visiting the team as a free agent.

"I mean, how do you know?" he said. "It's going to affect you and your family, and you've got about three or four hours to research it. You do the best you can, but you really just have to go with your gut.