Technically speaking, Eric DeCosta has succeeded Ozzie Newsome as the General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens. DeCosta was Newsome’s assistant for many years leading up to the change, however, and Newsome remains a part of the organization as a fixture of the front office, though he doesn’t have an official title for now.
While DeCosta will have the final call on decisions, however, from the sounds of it, those in the know don’t particularly expect much to change, because Newsome and DeCosta have always collaborated, and continue to collaborate, such that the chain of command isn’t necessarily a major factor in how decisions get made.
“I think he’s really enjoying it“, DeCosta said of Newsome’s more condensed, less responsible role. “He’s grinding tape. He had a great time at the combine. He’s really been a valuable resource for me in terms of discussing players and what do you see. I think he’s really having fun with it”.
Newsome has obviously played a central in defining the Ravens over the course of the organization’s existence. Up to now, he had been the only general manager the team had ever known, responsible for drafting everybody from Ray Lewis and Jonathon Ogden to the final seventh-round pick of last year’s draft.
Under his watch, the team has prioritized building draft capital by carefully playing the compensatory pick formula and making selective trades that allow them to harvest additional selections, which has largely allowed them to build (and to rebuild) using the draft.
They have won two Super Bowls under his watch, with two different quarterbacks, so obviously he could have certainly done a lot worse. Newsome absolutely deserves the reputation that he has gained over the years for his work as a personnel man.
As he approaches his mid-60s, however, he decided it was time to take on more of an advisory role, rather than the man who has to sit in the chair and make the final decisions. While he doesn’t have a title, he appears essentially to now be in DeCosta’s role as the second in command on the personnel front.
And DeCosta, of course, learned almost everything he knows from Newsome. So, in other words, don’t expect things to be all that different with the Ravens as the draft rolls around. “I think Eric has had a huge impact on the draft up until now”, Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s been a big part of it. Ozzie’s and his relationship is very unique, very special”.