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Ron Marciniak, influential scout who coined ‘Play like a Raven,’ dies

Ron Marciniak, a former NFL player, college football coach and influential Ravens scout, died Monday morning, the team announced. He was 85.

The cause of death was not announced.

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A Pittsburgh native, Marciniak played one season as a guard for the Washington Redskins in 1955 before moving into coaching and then scouting. As the Ravens’ Southwest area scout in the 1990s and early 2000s, he coined the phrase “Play like a Raven” and the term “red-star player,” assigned to the prospects scout thought had special on- and off-field qualities.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement Monday that Marciniak, who joined the franchise in 1996 and retired 12 years ago, was a mentor to the team’s younger scouts.

“We lost a member of our Ravens family today,” DeCosta said in the statement. “Ron was a skilled evaluator and his common-sense approach to scouting players is something that we continue to value today. ...

"I will miss Ron very much and think about him as one of my greatest early influences in the league.”

Marciniak went 37-41-4 as Dayton’s coach in the mid-1970s. He also worked as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns.

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