Ozzie Newsome left Eric DeCosta and Ravens in a good position
Did Ozzie Newsome set Eric DeCosta up with a chance to be successful?
For the first time in sixteen seasons the Ravens will enter the league year with a new name under the title of general manager. Eric DeCosta, who has been with the organization since it’s inaugural season in 1996, is set to finish putting the puzzle together for the 2019 season. But did Ozzie Newsome leave DeCosta in the right position to succeed?
The first piece to completing the puzzle was extending head coach John Harbaugh. Newsome and co were able to keep the heart of the Ravens personnel around for DeCosta. Having a reliable and respected leader in the locker room will make life easier for DeCosta giving him the ability to put his full focus on player personnel and putting the best team on the field.
Being a first year general manager is hard enough, adding a search for a head coach and that could have resulted in dismay and ultimately hiring the wrong guy. But Ozzie made sure that wasn’t going to be the case and locked Harbaugh up for the foreseeable future.
The next step for Ozzie was to give DeCosta his quarterback of the future or at least try to. With the last pick in the first round of the 2018 draft, Ozzie did just that. Selecting Lamar Jackson, Ozzie filled another piece of the puzzle and gave DeCosta someone to build around. Finding a franchise quarterback is arguably the hardest job for an NFL front office. DeCosta has been given a head start and can now focus on building the team around Jackson and give him the weapons he needs to succeed.
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Jackson was DeCosta’s man all along. During the draft process DeCosta was amazed by Jackson’s athletic abilities and intangibles. It’s only right that in his first season as GM he gets to work the guy he wanted from the beginning.
Not only did Newsome leave DeCosta with a young quarterback, but young talent at many positions. Marlon Humphrey looks to be a shutdown corner in the making, Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst look to form a troublesome tight end duo, Orlando Brown Jr. has the makings to be a star right tackle. Kenny Young could be the next great linebacker on a list of stars, and others who will play a pivotal role throughout Eric’s first few season at the helm. Newsome’s final draft looks to be a promising one. One that DeCosta can build off of and begin a new era of Ravens football.
Finally and the biggest piece of the puzzle is the knowledge that Newsome has given to DeCosta over the last sixteen years. A Hall of Fame general managing career is what Newsome has composed during his tenure. It is a safe bet that he has taught his successor a thing or two.
Newsome played a huge role in bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Baltimore. He has built teams that competed year in and year out. And DeCosta has been here through it all. The passing of the torch couldn’t have gone any smother and it is now DeCosta’s turn to build another championship caliber Baltimore Ravens.