With Eric DeCosta in place as Ravens' general manager, Ozzie Newsome has a different role. Nobody has decided what to call Newsome's new job, but DeCosta is certain that Newsome, the Ravens' legendary former general manager, will remain vital to the organization.
"I don't know what his title is going to be," DeCosta said. "I think that's kind of a work in progress. I refer to him as 'the Lord of all advisors.' To be honest with you, knowing Ozzie, I think he would have some input in that (his title), and it's probably the furthest thing from his mind. I don't even think he cares."
However, Newsome cares deeply about the Ravens. His opinion on any subject is valued by the entire organization. So DeCosta and Newsome will continue working closely together, and Newsome was part of the contingent that traveled to Owner Steve Bisciotti's home in Jupiter, Fla., earlier this month to map out offseason strategy.
"He'll have a significant role moving forward," DeCosta said. "He's got an office here. He probably will be here most of the time. He loves this time of year. He loves the Senior Bowl, he loves the Combine. Is he going to be here in May? I don't know, he'll probably be golfing. Is he going to be here in training camp? I don't know. Is he going to travel with the team? I really don't know.
"But he's really, really important. He's going to help me. He's going to watch tape. He's going to participate in the meetings and all of the things that he likes to do, and he probably won't do the things he doesn't like to do. It's going to be his role. It will be great for me to walk down the hall and go, 'Hey Oz, what do you think about this? How would you do this? How would you frame this?'"
A prominent figure in the NFL for over 40 years as both a Hall of Fame player and an executive, Newsome has a network of resources that DeCosta wants to utilize. DeCosta is well-prepared to take over as general manager, but Newsome's experience makes him invaluable in many ways.
"He's got unbelievable connections with the league office," DeCosta said. "I really don't. I mean, I know those people, but Ozzie has built up these relationships over 20 years. That's huge. He's got great relationships with some of the agents, some of the old-school, old-time agents. I'm more of a young agent guy. We work really well together in that regard as well."
Nobody has played a larger role in DeCosta's professional career than Newsome. Now that DeCosta has begun his dream job, having Newsome down the hall as an advisor reminds DeCosta of one of his favorite movies, "The Godfather."
"People that know me really well know that I've probably seen 'The Godfather' 250 times, and I go back to Michael and him having his father as his consigliere, and what an advantage he had to have the best in the business advising him day to day," DeCosta said. "That's what I think Ozzie can do with me. Who better to help me make decisions and to navigate than Ozzie Newsome?"