Assistant GM Eric DeCosta spends every Ravens practice seated next to GM Ozzie Newsome.
The long-time friends and co-workers are the leaders of Baltimore's personnel department, and Newsome has spent the last two decades grooming DeCosta as his eventual replacement.
Few people have watched Newsome work more closely than DeCosta, and the Ravens assistant general manager shared the biggest lesson he's learned from his mentor:
"Patience, probably," DeCosta said during the pre-draft press conference last week. "Just don't panic. Take your time and consider everything, and don't rush the process. Don't create something, let it come to you."
Ravens' scouts and coaches regularly preach the value of Newsome's patient approach. Baltimore's general manager sticks to his board on draft weekend and is hesitant to part ways with his picks. He's also thrifty when it comes to dishing out money in free agency, and maintains his "right player, right price" philosophy.
That approach has led to great results, as Newsome has built a pair of Super Bowl champions and brought 37 Pro Bowl players to Baltimore. Newsome is a model of consistency, and he stresses the importance of sticking to "the process."
"The process in 1996 was the same as it was [in 2013], and it's the same as it is today," Newsome said. "We try to refine it. We put pressure on ourselves to get better."
DeCosta has climbed the ladder in Ravens' personnel department by embracing that process. He was first hired in 1996 when the team moved to Baltimore as a member of the "20-20 club." That "20-20 club" refers to hiring young 20-year-old scouts for $20,000, and Baltimore's personnel department is filled with graduates from that group.
DeCosta worked his way up to his current role as assistant general manager, and he's turned down multiple interviews from teams interested in hiring him as their general manager. He's opted instead to stay in Baltimore, citing the relationships he has with Newsome and several other key members of the organization.
The Ravens have made it clear that DeCosta is next in line for the general manager job when Newsome decides to walk away, and when that happens he'll continue to use the wisdom he's collected from Newsome for the last 22 years.