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DeCosta Still Willing to Stay On-Deck

Lombardi's Way DeCosta Still Willing to Stay On-Deck

Posted in Lombardi's Way
6+ Comments JerryB says He's not just good at evaluating talent as his record attests to, but obviously a smart business man to boot! He's next in line with one of the premier organiz
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Since I started doing what I do here at Russell Street Report I’ve been blessed with some opportunities that otherwise would never have come my way. One of those blessings is getting to know Ravens Assistant GM Eric DeCosta.

Now I have no doubt that some of you reading this will accuse me of having a man crush. If that’s your conclusion, so be it. If that’s how you define admiring a man’s commitment to his family and to his job, I’m ok with that.

DeCosta is a stickler for detail and is continually seeking ways to improve, seemingly never satisfied with the accomplishments he’s had. If he were a player, he’d be the kind of guy who frets the plays he left on the field instead of the impressive stats that suggest that he didn’t.

He reads books about business; absorbs great works of literature; and is a sponge when it comes to the teachings of coaches and executives, some that he knows, some that are legends. His appetite for knowledge is in large part a way to stretch his mind – see things from unfamiliar perspectives as part of an effort to explore new frontiers as a league executive.

He’s also deeply committed to his family.

I recall when hosting our radio program GAMETIME a few years back, DeCosta and his wife Lacie joined me in studio. He once told me how while cutting his teeth in the NFL talent business as a scout, he would spend more than half the calendar year on the road, living in and out of less than desirable motels and washing clothes in bathtubs and then draping them over shower rods to dry.

That’s not a very glamorous lifestyle but it’s part of the process – it’s part of paying dues and it helped him to get to where he is today.

But his partner in life also paid a price, so I asked Lacie to come in studio to explain what the other half does while hubby is schlepping around the country in far-reaching corners of sparse geography visiting schools, interviewing coaches and watching kids play in search of the next unknown college superstar.

Years have come and gone since that visit in studio and the immediate DeCosta family has grown to five. Lacie is from the Baltimore area and is part of a closely-knit family. That’s a great thing for the DeCostas and it’s a great thing for Ravens fans. It keeps Eric anchored here in Baltimore as Ozzie Newsome’s assistant.

If Newsome stays around long enough, there may come a day when DeCosta’s patience wavers; when his children are a bit older and perhaps more open to change. Maybe then an opportunity will come along that is just too difficult to turn down.

You can only keep a man with DeCosta’s potential in the on-deck circle so long.

Some pretty decent NFL jobs could have already been his. But given the quality of the Ravens organization, his family ties and having seen friends and colleagues like Phil Savage and George Kokinis jump at the first GM opportunity that came along (both in Cleveland) and end up with torched careers, DeCosta doesn’t blink.

It’s only natural that other teams would seek the best NFL GM in waiting.

It seems equally as natural that DeCosta remains steadfastly focused upon his dream job – GM of the Baltimore Ravens.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony's new Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

He's not just good at evaluating talent as his record attests to, but obviously a smart business man to boot! He's next in line with one of the premier organizations in the NFL, if not ALL of sports, so why move when you're with! Lucky to have him.......


Tony good thoughts on DeCosta. After 30 years in the military, I get it, because in that business loyalty and a great organizational structure saves lives on both sides of the battlefield. What I'm saying is our owner is superb in the fact that he has built a great organization that fosters dedication and loyalty. I know the players feel the same, knowing its a business and sometimes they need to move on securing financial stability for themselves and family and the team needs to let them move on for cap reasons. Last year was hard because so many fan favorites departed and this off season will be the same. Having a stable front office and Head Coach lays the foundation for success in the out years.

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones

Great article Tony. Hopefully his patience doesn't waver because while we all appreciate the Great Oz, our teams long term future success will fall on the shoulders of Decosta. His willingness to not jump at the first thing that came his way, which most would do, in my mind speaks volumes to what type of GM he will be one day.


Tony, Do you believe there is a job out there that could open in the new year or two that he would jump at? Any ties to any other city? Do you personally think he will stick around till Ozzie moves on or retires?

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

At one time I thought he might go to New England since he's from the Boston area but I doubt that he'd want to be Belichick's yes-man and even if Belichick moved on, I doubt that he'd want to follow in the Belichick-Brady shadows. I really can't think of another situation in the next year or two that would sway him. If it goes out to 4 or 5 years, perhaps the pendulum swings a bit.


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