DeCosta Making All The Right Moves
The seats were empty. The product on the field was frankly, vanilla. The same mistakes were happening over and over again as the team was mired in mediocrity. The “continuity” that was being preached didn’t bring confidence, in fact, it brought a collective sigh from the fans as another retread receiver was brought in to get the team over the threshold and into relevancy like the glory years of past.
The receivers mostly flopped while another promising high draft pick floundered into obscurity. The coaching staff was a continual basis of angst as the head scratching hires cost the team when it mattered the most. (Yes, Dean Pees, Trestman and MM, I’m thinking of you).
“What is wrong with Flayco, he just doesn’t seem right”, my 91 year old grandmother exclaimed in our weekly talks after each game. She’s a huge Ravens fan and Flacco was her favorite player even if she pronounced it Flay-co. “Well Nena, he is spending quite a bit a time making sure his hair looks good on the bench, by himself”. He don’t need no stinkin’ plays to look at between series. He’s a Super Bowl MVP. Whether you agree or not, things were as stale as the half priced bread at Giant.
Then the announcement of the big transition. Our beloved Ozzie was stepping down and handing over the reins to his long time right hand man, Eric DeCosta (“ED”)! Was he going to be another Oz? How much could he really change?
Apparently, a lot.
The first round of the 2018 draft was about done. Not to ED, he was sure he could move back into the first with a trade involving Philly, giving up a second rounder in 18 and 19. That didn’t matter, 2nd rounders haven’t been chosen wisely the past several years.
What did matter was ED thinking ahead and the Ravens drafting Lamar. The move was controversial, but I believe Eric saw the future.
Ozzie nailed the rest of the draft in his last. One that was critical to the team today and for the immediate future.
A flailing (4-5) record, injury to Flacco and speak of Harbs’ demise was in the air. The future, Lamar Jackson started early.
The new coordinators look to be very successful moves. They are the right men at the right time.
The rest is history.
So far, I have agreed with almost every decision Eric DeCosta has made. I do not believe that Ozzie would have made the same decisions. From letting core players walk to ridiculous contracts to picking two speedy receivers to bringing in two perfect veterans with leadership qualities, DeCosta has nailed it.
I also see some more commitment to playing our youth. Hopefully Harbs has changed with the front office.
The early reviews are out and mostly positive. Lamar is improving, receivers are catching the ball (a new criterion now as Lasley was cut). Heck, almost 30,000 showed for an open practice at M&T.
Time to see where it goes from here.
For my money, the future looks bright.
Submitted by Guest Blogger Craig Brantley