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John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome Have a 'Phenomenal Relationship'

Posted Jan 9, 2018

The Ravens head coach said that he and Ozzie Newsome have a great system in place and they lean on each on when making decisions.


John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome have spent the last 10 years working just across the hall from each other.

A decade of consistency with the head coach and general manager is extremely rare in the NFL, but Baltimore’s decision makers are two of the league’s longest-tenured in their positions. 

They both understand their roles and have avoided the in-fighting that can sink a football team. Newsome and Harbaugh aren’t doing any finger pointing now as they look back on the 2017 season, and Harbaugh dismissed a question during his season-review press conference last week about whether he wants a larger role in deciding roster personnel.

“We have a great system here,” Harbaugh said. “Ozzie and I have a phenomenal relationship. We work every single day to be the best that we can be. He helps me, and I help him. He is involved in football, and I am involved in personnel. We understand each other’s areas, and we work together.”

The Ravens are structured in a way where Newsome has control over the team’s 53-man roster and the draft, but Harbaugh certainly has input in the entire process. Harbaugh also decides who to activate on gameday and how to use those players.

Some head coaches also have control over personnel, but the Ravens have maintained the traditional approach to divide the power. They both understand who makes the final call for certain decisions, but they work together to reach those conclusions.

“That is the way that it has to work,” Harbaugh said. “I will be involved in personnel to whatever degree I can to help the best I can, because I understand the roster. I understand how we want to fill the roster and how we can make the team better more than anybody does.”

Harbaugh and Newsome are both focused on building a team this offseason that can get the Ravens back to the postseason. They will look for the right fits in free agency and then bolster the team through the draft.

They have the No. 16 pick again in this year’s class – the same spot where they drafted cornerback Marlon Humphrey last year – and they know how important it will be nail this year’s selections.

“We have to draft well,” Harbaugh said. “We have to do a great job of bringing in guys that can make our team better. There are going to be specific areas that I will be looking to bolster on the roster for sure, and Ozzie feels the same way.”


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