Reaction from owner Steve Bisciotti’s State of the Ravens news conference:
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: Bisciotti completely dismissed a question about whether the organization is at a crossroads, but his tone and his message indicated that he's very much aware that the franchise has reached a crucial stage. The news that Ozzie Newsome will step aside as general manager following the 2018 season is the clear headliner, but Bisciotti acknowledging that he considered replacing John Harbaugh this offseason sets the tone for what should be an interesting season for the Ravens.
Edward Lee, reporter: Steve Bisciotti dropped a few bombshells such as revealing that Eric DeCosta will replace Ozzie Newsome after the 2018 season and that he contemplated firing John Harbaugh. But he also defended the franchise and his decision-making, making it very clear that he still cares deeply about the criticism swirling around the team.
Childs Walker, reporter: Steve Bisciotti’s tone was certainly different from last year. He acknowledged considering John Harbaugh’s job security in the wake of the season. But with the announcement that Eric DeCosta will replace Ozzie Newsome after the season, he indicated that continuity is still the rule of the day.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: Win another one for Ozzie? With the surprising announcement that general manager Ozzie Newsome will be stepping aside after the 2018 season, the Ravens have something to play for, just like Ray Lewis’ announcement in January 2013 before the Ravens went on the win Super Bowl XLVII. Owner Steve Bisciotti clearly wasn’t happy with missing the playoffs again though.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: It certainly wasn't hard to divine which nugget from the Steve Bisciotti news conference was most important. Ozzie Newsome stepping aside, even if it was in the works for four years, is a huge revelation, though it probably will not dramatically change the culture of the organization. Eric DeCosta has grown up as an executive at the knee of Newsome, who has long been one of the top GMs in the business. Bisciotti also admitted that he did ponder changing head coaches, but who knows how seriously he considered it. On the attendance front, he said the London anthem protest was not the primary driver of the fan discontent, which was being discussed well before that. Can't argue with the timeline, but combined with the lopsided loss to the Jags at Wembley, it certainly took it to a new level. Fans will be happy there will be no ticket price increase, but none was anticipated and there has been no thought of lowering them. Bisciotti did say he is considering lowering some concession prices. And, all unpleasant issues considered, he retains his passion for the team and isn't going anywhere soon.