Tuesday, May 01, 2007

WHEN DECOSTA TALKS PEOPLE LISTEN


After listening to and speaking with Eric DeCosta last night I was intrigued by a few of the morsels of info that he shared…those morsels that football junkies like myself crave for….

I mentioned to Eric that Yamon Figurs seemed to me to be a poor man’s Ted Ginn. Eric responded by wondering aloud somewhat…how might the world view both if they switched schools. Good point and it’s this type of thinking that helps set DeCosta apart.

We talked a bit about Marshall Yanda and I said that from my novice’s perspective, he seemed like a bit of a reach. And while he acknowledged such perspective he was quick to point out that the average observer and even a media member doesn’t have the access to the player, the access to his college coach and the access to the film that the Ravens do. Yanda gets the red star seal of approval from the highly respected Kirk Ferentz, Iowa’s Head Coach and former offensive line coach of the Ravens.

Speaking of red stars, the Ravens hand out red stars on draft eligible players that have toughness, intelligence, durability, excellent character and a passion for the game. On day 1 DeCosta said they landed three of those players: Grubbs, Figurs and Yanda. Now these red stars can be assigned by any of the scouts based upon their observations. DeCosta also gets red star discretion as well. Three red star players is the most the Ravens have had. TheY tried for four and while they were pleased with the Day 2 selections, none had the red star label.

On day 2, the Ravens had two fourth round compensatory picks. Those picks cannot be traded and that actually worked in favor of the Ravens according to DeCosta. But first to those two picks on day 2 sitting at 134 and 137, respectively.

The Ravens coveted both Antwan Barnes and Le’Ron McClain and they weren’t sure which to take. San Francisco sat at 135 and Indianapolis at 136. The Ravens believed that given the current roster of the 49ers and the fact that the Colts seldom use a fullback, that exposing McClain was the safer bet if they wanted both players. The Ravens guessed right and later they were contacted by the Colts who said they would have taken Barnes at 136. The Ravens also were told that other teams would have traded up to get McClain if they could but as a result of those picks being compensatory in nature, no trades were permitted.

Later in the draft, the Ravens tried to get through by phone to Prescott Burgess. His cell phone was tied up. They then called his land line and spoke with Burgess’ Mom. When she brought the Michigan Wolverine to the phone, Ozzie asked him who he was talking to and he said the Patriots who were planning to select him. “They can’t”, Prescott was told because one pick prior to the Patriots going on the clock, the Ravens turned in the card. Burgess is now a Raven. Maybe Belichick was trying to tie up Burgess until the Ravens' pick clock expired. Games people play...

The Ravens always seem to do well on Day 2 and DeCosta pointed out that one of the most difficult jobs he has on draft weekend is reshuffling the draft board when day 1 is in the books. The board that was originally set is picked clean at the top and it’s up to DeCosta to reset. Resetting isn’t as easy as it might sound. DeCosta has to consider his day 1 picks which will influence their board ranking for day 2. For example if their number 1 remaining player was a return specialist, that player’s rating would drop since the Ravens selected Figurs on day 1.

These were the things that I remember most from last night. We’ll drill down a bit more with DeCosta not only with the draft but with the plans for the coming season and the draft’s impact on the current roster. We’ll play that interview in its entirety on GAMETIME this coming Sunday.

9 comments :

TalkinWillis said...

I think the Ravens need to pay DeCosta entry level GM money until Ozzie passes the torch to him. The team can't afford to lose him. Let's hope that the picture above did not include a conversation that went like this:

Bisciotti: Eric, what's it going to take to keep you here the rest of your career?

DeCosta: Not the world and everything in it...but close ;-)

No. 31 said...

Let's hope if DeCosta does leave that he's grooming someone as his successor the way Savage groomed him.

And I'm not talking about combing his hair, wiping the crust out of his eyes and giving him a life saver.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about this draft. A return specialist with the second pick. If he isn't Devin Hester part II and Samari Rolle gets torched some more this year, then someone has some 'splainin' to do!

Anonymous said...

The draft was top heavy on the defensive side thus remaining cornerbacks that were available when our selection was due were no better than what we currently have on the squad. Eric and Ozzie did their job. Given where they were at 29 why reach for an undersized Chris Houston who has trouble in zone coverage.

Tony Lombardi said...

The only pick I have a question with is Marshal Yanda. I'm sure he's a solid player...the Ravens certainly were the recipients of a great scouting report on Yanda given their ties to Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz. But Yanda doesn't look like a tackle to me. He looks more like a guard and if that's an accurate assessment, is it wise to spend a third round pick on a player that will likely be a back up to Brown and/or Chester & Vincent? Brian Rimpf is also in the mix.

That will be worth watching...

Dawan Song said...

Great interview with DeCosta yesterday TL. My wife wondered why I was so busy in the yard. I was wearing my walk man listening to your show and I ended up doing things without her asking. So not only did I get to enjoy insightful Ravens talk, I also, how should I say this, oh how about this...my wife didn't have a headache last night. ;-)

Tony Lombardi said...

Dawan, do you think we could use this story when promoting our radio program GAMETIME?

Dawan Song said...

TL,

By all means. If it helps go for it! GAMETIME > Tylenol or even Midol for curing a woman's headache. GAMETIME to ease the pain of a honey-do-list!

What time is it?

GAMETIME!

What time is it?

GAMETIME!

Anybody in the doghouse?

NO NO NO NO!

Anonymous said...

You know I didn't know how I could pull off listening to GAMETIME this Sunday being Mother's Day but Dawan is the man. First I'll drive to the store for some random yet seemingly sweet and thoughful reason...I'm working on that...

Then I tune into 1300...

While at the store I'll buy some flower that of course has to be planted immediately. Out comes the walkman and I'm off to the garden to take 90 minutes to do something that should take about 15.

SCORE!!!