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Eric DeCosta: Could The Ravens Survive Without Ozzie Newsome?


Image courtesy of baltimorebeatdown.com
Image courtesy of baltimorebeatdown.com


With the Ray Rice situation becoming both a black eye for both the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL, both parties were dealt another blow as reports emerged Friday that Ravens upper management knew about the contents of the tape.

According to a recent report from ESPN’s Outside The Lines, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, owner Steve Bisciotti and team president Dick Cass lobbied NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to give Rice the initial two-game suspension in an attempt to cover up and protect both Rice and the organization.

The Baltimore Ravens management knew about it and didn’t disclose it. With these revelations, there is a possibility that Newsome and others may be forced to resign if public outrage continues to escalate.

If that is the case, what will the future of the Baltimore Ravens look like?

Newsome is one of the best general managers in the NFL. If he is forced out, there is a succession plan in place. It has been in the works for several years. The presumed successor is their well-regarded Assistant General Manager, Eric DeCosta.

He has been with the Ravens for the past 18 years. He was promoted to his current position in 2012. He has coveted by other NFL teams for years, but has rejected previous offers because of his loyalty to the organization and the apparatus that is in place.

The Ravens have done a very good job drafting over the years, and DeCosta has played a big part in that success. He has been the Director of College Scouting and the Director of Player Personnel in the past. Thus, he has been heavily involved in scouting potential players and building the team.

With the current structure in place, DeCosta works with Newsome and the coaching staff to determine the picks.

There are checks and balances in this structure. That is a good thing because coaches can give their opinions and it encourages healthy debate.

In this approach, all of the main players can come to a consensus. As we have seen, some GM’s don’t heed the advice of their own people and teams suffer because of this dysfunction.

The Ravens’ consistent success shows the sustainability of this model.

Newsome has built an effective organization that can survive a disaster. If Newsome resigns, DeCosta is more than capable of taking over for his mentor. The transition would be seamless, and the Ravens will continue to thrive for years to come.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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