A lengthy debate is raging on our message board and the topic is Eric DeCosta vs. Ozzie Newsome. These are the kinds of discussions that surface when a team is struggling and when several consecutive drafts have produced few, if any playmakers.
The thought was also tossed out that the two are mirror images – that DeCosta is just a disciple and therefore no different than Ozzie. Harsher things were also shared. Go ahead and take a look.
I decided to weigh in with my thoughts…
One of the big differences since John Harbaugh’s arrival is the voice of the head coach in the war room. Harbs’ is bigger and louder than Billick’s was. As boisterous and A-type as Billick was, he conceded to Ozzie in the war room unless there was something he definitely wanted, then he could be demanding. The selections of Kyle Boller and Adam Terry are good examples.
It’s really hard to pinpoint where the breakdown has happened since 2009 on draft day. Any or possibly all of the following could have influenced the poor results:
• Too many voices in the war room results in a compromise pick
• Over-emphasis on character
• Quality of scouts may have deteriorated
• Improved information flow may have elevated the value of scouting services (Blesto & National). The Ravens use neither.
• The Ravens draft position hasn’t been as favorable as it was during the 1996-2000 and 2003-2008.
• Best Player Available might not be as appropriate anymore. System drafts may weigh a little more heavily. Seattle does that. They take guys they believe will work for them and they don’t care where the player ranks globally. They only care how the player ranks on their board influenced by their team’s identity.
As for Ozzie v. DeCosta, I have developed a relationship with Eric dating back to 2005. He’s a respectful soldier and thinks the world of Ozzie. He’s more emotional and more willing to take chances. He’s more of an outside-the-box thinker. He’s more innovative. Given his experience at his age, he’s going to be an outstanding GM. If the Ravens pass on him for some reason, I believe he’s the NFL’s answer to Theo Epstein.
He’s deeply rooted in Baltimore. He has a GREAT family here with strong local ties and he loves the organization and Steve Bisciotti. I think there’s only one job he’d consider outside of Baltimore. The New York Giants. He’s never said that to me in those words. I’m piecing together observations and his respect for the Mara family and school systems in that area that might be great for his kids.
If somehow public sentiment is so negative that it opens his mind to other opportunities and he gets away, it will be Baltimore’s loss. He’ll be a great exec somewhere and we’ll regret it for a long, long time.
I’m sure there was a day when fans thought Bill Belichick sucked. I’m sure fans one day liked the trade for Glen Davis, sacrificing Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley.
That’s what we’re looking at if Eric DeCosta heads out of town.