What Steve Bisciotti's Role Is As Owner


What happens when Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh don't agree on something? 

That's when Owner Steve Bisciotti may swoop in.

Bisciotti peeled back the curtain about his role as owner, and his favorite and least favorite parts of the job, during a conference call with PSL holders last week.

The original question was about whether Bisciotti ever overrules his chief decision-makers on the football side. Bisciotti said, "No, not once."

"It's not in my nature. To me, that would kind of be the beginning of the end of the kind of relationship that I need to have with Ozzie and John," Bisciotti continued.

"Their offices are right next to each other. They talk every day. There are times when I will talk with John and he may disagree with Ozzie. I'll kind of get in and ask Ozzie what he's thinking, why he's taking a position. I will try to mediate, maybe, a disagreement. But even those are so few and far between."

So what do Harbaugh and Ozzie sometimes disagree on?

"There are times when John wants personnel and Ozzie can't afford it," Bisciotti said. "There are times when John might not see everything that Ozzie sees. There are times when John will convince Ozzie off of his position.

"The most you're going to get from me is to get in the middle of the conversation, hear both sides and maybe contribute a little bit to get the two of them to come to a resolution."

Those times are very rare, however. Bisciotti said he doesn't recall one issue in seven years together that Harbaugh and Newsome haven't come to an agreement. It may take a day, or two or a week, but they eventually meet.

"I'm very fortunate to have two guys that love and trust each other," Bisciotti said. "It's just a pleasure to be a part of it."

Bisciotti said his favorite thing about being the Ravens' owner is being a part of the football decisions that happen around this time of year. And the draft. He's a huge draftnik.

"My most enjoyment is really not during the season," he said. "I love the building of the roster, I like the decisions, I like the very, very tough decisions of clearing cap space, extending players, cutting players. I hate having to cut players, but it comes with the territory. Anybody that's in the business understands that you have to constantly watch how you spend your money.

"[I enjoy] the building of the roster from a financial standpoint, and then from the much more popular and enjoyable draft process – holding out hope that guys we have rated higher than other teams drop to us. I really enjoy that because I can participate in it."

Bisciotti is especially skilled, along with Senior Vice President of Football Administration Pat Moriarty, in weighing the value of draft-day trades. But once the draft is over, the roster is set and it's time to play the games, Bisciotti simply plays the role of listener.

"All I am is a good sounding board for John and try to be a good partner to him because he's under all the pressure and I'm not," Bisciotti said. "I get to kind of view his struggles from afar and hopefully give him good counsel so he can be clearer minded headed into the next week."

The season – and probably every Sunday – is actually Biscoitti's least favorite part of the year.

"I'm as worried and nervous [as fans]," he said. "It usually starts around Friday mornings or Friday evenings. Knowing that I can't do a darn thing is very, very frustrating when you have so much on the line.

"We work seven months in the offseason to prepare for [those] five, and then I have to sit back like everybody else and hope like heck that we've made the right decisions, guys stay healthy and we pull out the wins in order to give ourselves a crack at it."

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