Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is not overly concerned about potential breaches as more NFL teams communicate online because of restrictions with COVID-19.
In fact, the limited travel might actually benefit the Ravens in some ways. With most of the team at home, there might be less chance for espionage.
“I have more confidence in Zoom than I do in Ozzie [Newsome], John [Harbaugh], Steve [Bisciotti] and Dick [Cass], with a copy of our draft board that they just leave in the car on their front seat or something like that,” DeCosta joked.
In all seriousness, teams are taking extra steps to prevent security breaches.
The Ravens are not shying away from these innovative platforms, such as Zoom, but they’re still being extra careful with the potential risks, namely hacking and other interruptions that could prove devastating.
Harbaugh has been steadfast in making sure the team’s IT department stays on top of any potential risks or problems. He certainly does not want the Ravens playbook getting into the wrong hands.
“It’s a big concern,” Harbaugh said about potential technological threats. “My level of involvement has been every time I read something in The Wall Street Journal or New York Times that talks about how messed up Zoom is or some of these other deals that came out this morning, I immediately text it to our IT people.
“[Director of football administration] Nick Matteo is one of those guys, and they assure me that we are doing everything humanly possible, and I remind them that that’s what Wells Fargo and all those other places said about our private information.”
The Ravens will potentially focus more heavily on technology in the coming week as the league edges closer to the 2020 NFL Draft. Because of the restrictions due to COVID-19, DeCosta and other personnel might have to conduct the draft from their respective homes. It’s certainly not an ideal situation, but DeCosta is fully prepared to adjust.
When asked where the Ravens were going to run the draft, DeCosta replied, “The answer is: We don’t know. That’s going to be up to the league and up to [NFL chief medical officer] Dr. Allen Sills from the NFL office to make those determinations. We’ll be prepared for any opportunity that exists, whether that’s here at the facility [or] another location. We’ll be ready to make picks when the time comes.”
In addition to draft information, the Ravens coaches have also been communicating with their players with various technological platforms. Harbaugh is not thrilled about sharing the team’s playbook electronically, but it’s a necessary risk in the current environment.
The threat of any opponent getting hold of the Ravens game-day strategy is enough to keep him awake at night.
“I’ve got some real concerns about that, and hopefully we’ll be okay,” he said. “It’s kind of like that. We’ll see what happens. I really wouldn’t want the opposing coaches to have our playbook or our draft meetings. That would be preferable, if we can stay away from that.”