Instead of running his own football team in another NFL city, Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta remains in his familiar role as a top scouting lieutenant to general manager Ozzie Newsome.
DeCosta has repeatedly declined past job overtures from other organizations, including the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks. He signed a lucrative contract to stay with the Ravens last year and was promoted from director of player personnel to his current title after the draft last spring.
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"It's a relationship business," DeCosta told The Baltimore Sun on Thursday at the NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. "I'm fortunate to work with a bunch of great guys. It's a great place to work. I appreciate that side of the business. Individual achievement comes and goes. At the end of the day, you look at the guys you work with, and the friendships you develop, and that's the most important thing.
"We have a great team of guys who have their roles whether it's Steve Bisciotti as owner, or Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass as president, [vice president of football administration] Pat Moriarty, [director of pro personnel] Vince Newsome, [director of college scouting] Joe Hortiz, [senior personnel assistant] George Kokinis, the scouts and the coaching staff. We work very well together."
The Ravens currently have seven draft picks, one in each round, and anticipate obtaining more through the awarding of compensatory draft selections next month.
Although the Ravens own the last pick of the first round due to their status as Super Bowl champions, DeCosta expressed confidence that they'll still obtain a good player at that spot and other prospects from a deep draft class. That includes defensive line, offensive tackle, safety and linebacker, four areas of need for the Ravens.
"We think we have a really good chance to get some quality players," DeCosta said. "We think it's a strong draft. We like the way the draft is set up positionally for us. We think we could come out of this thing with some legitimate players to help us moveforward and be a successful team next year.
"On the defensive line, we think it's stacked in the first round and second round with players who
can help us. We're excited about that. Anytime you have a chance to take a quality defensive lineman, you have to consider it."
DeCosta indicated that the Ravens believe strongly in their ability to replenish the roster with talent to try to remain on top after winning the Vince Lombardi trophy for the second time in franchise history.
"We have faith in the process of scouting players, pushing ourselves, pushing our scouts to get all the information about these players, evaluating players, getting a sense for who these players are and then our coaches really working hard to know these players," DeCosta said. "It's a challenge. You feel like everybody else is gunning for you. You want to do the best job you can. You don't want to rest on your laurels.
"You want to push yourself to be back again next year. Anyone who works in this business is competitive. You want to win. That's why you do what you do. You want to win. Everything we do is geared toward getting that accomplishment as much as possible."