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30.09.2019 08:39
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BALTIMORE (AP) — Not long after Art Modell moved his football team from Cleveland to Baltimore http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/ben-banogu-jersey , a young intern joined the Ravens with hopes of learning enough to fulfill his lifelong quest of becoming an NFL general manager.Eric DeCosta was little more than an errand boy back then. Working at an entry level position, his responsibilities included taking coach Ted Marchibroda’s car for an oil change. It was a task he was more than willing to tackle, in part because he was given $100, purchased the $9.99 special and pocketed the rest of the cash.The most rewarding aspect of the job was working under Ozzie Newsome, then the vice president of player personnel. Newsome, who would ultimately become the first African American general manager in NFL history, was in charge of acquiring talent via the draft and free agency.“In 1996 when I was sitting there in my office — well, I didn’t have an office, I had a card table in the hallway — Ozzie would call me in,” DeCosta recalled.“That was one of the joys in my life, sitting down and watching tape with him. He would show me plays and players, we would talk about techniques.”The 48-year-old DeCosta now resides in a lavish office in the team’s training complex. After working his way up the team’s corporate ladder, he took over for Newsome as Baltimore’s general manager in January and this week, for the first time in franchise history, someone other than Newsome will be in charge of the Ravens draft.DeCosta’s first draft-day decision will come Thursday, when it’s time for Baltimore — barring a trade — to make the No. 22 overall pick.He can’t wait.“I wake up early in the morning thinking about the draft Parris Campbell Jersey ,” said DeCosta, a Massachusetts native. “It’s been like that since I was 10 years old. I used to sit on the couch and read Will McDonough’s column and look at his mock draft in The Boston Globe. I get excited. It gives me a sense of energy, and I’m going to approach this draft as if it’s the most important thing in my life.”Newsome will serve as an adviser to DeCosta, who is thankful to have learned under a man who built two Super Bowl champions by studying countless hours of game film before drafting shrewdly and wisely.“He’s valuable. His wisdom, his expertise, his relationship with certain people in the league and agents is critical to me,” DeCosta said.“We’re so different, but he can look at me and I can look at him and we know what each other is thinking. I can say to him, ‘Ozzie, I’m uncertain about this. I don’t know which way to go. I’m here at the crossroads,’ and he’ll give me an honest opinion. Just like, when he was the GM, I could walk into his office and say, “Ozzie, we shouldn’t do this.’ And he would say, ‘OK.'”The teacher is now assisting his former student Will Harris Jersey , and their chemistry should make it a seamless transition.“I’ve always seen those guys just work well together,” coach John Harbaugh said. “So, to me, it works the same way, except now Eric is in the seat. Eric is the decision-maker, and he’ll be the guy making that final call.”DeCosta was promoted to Ravens’ Midwest area scout in 1998, became director of college scouting in 2003, was named director player personnel in 2008 and ascended to assistant general manager in 2012.As word of DeCosta’s ability leaked outside Baltimore, several teams were interested in interviewing him for the GM job. So in 2007, owner Steve Bisciotti promised DeCosta that he would succeed Newsome when the time was right.After ignoring overtures from several teams, including the New York Jets, Green Bay and Seattle, DeCosta ended up with the only job he really wanted.“Did I have chances? Yeah. Did I have a lot? Yeah. Did I ever really consider it? Not really,” DeCosta said. “Because every time I’d go to bed thinking that maybe I would consider something, I’d wake up and say, ‘What are you http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/austin-bryant-jersey , crazy? You know you’re going to have the job someday that you’ve dreamed about, so just wait and make it perfect.'”The wait, in effect, took more than two decades. Those oil changes, that card table that served as his office and his gig as an understudy to Newsome were all part of it, and DeCosta really wouldn’t have it any other way.“Some people would think maybe that I would be embarrassed that I started off as an intern now that I’m a GM, that I want to forget that,” he said.“But to be honest with you, I cherish that, the fact that I could start out as a young person and really had to do a lot of different things. I’m proud of that. I understand what a lot of people do in this organization, because in some instances, I did those jobs.” On a night when the high-powered offense was stuck in neutral, the New Orleans Saints still found a way to grind out a 12-9 win over Carolina behind their ever-improving defense.That could bode well for these Saints (12-2) as they prepare to make a run at the Super Bowl.For years, they’ve relied on star quarterback Drew Brees to score a lot of points, put up big yardage and win games for them. But suddenly the Saints have a defense that is not only keeping them close when the offense sputters, but might be one of the best in the NFL. New Orleans has not allowed more than 17 points in any of its last six games.“That’s what the great teams find a way to do Max Scharping Jersey ,” said Brees, who was limited to 203 yards passing and intercepted once Monday night. “Despite what happens in the first three quarters or maybe the mistakes that were made prior to that, they just make the plays you need to make to win the game.”Brees likes that the Saints have found many different ways to win, even though not all of them have been pretty. The 12 points against the Panthers marked the fewest for New Orleans in a victory since 1998.For most of the season the Saints relied on an electrifying offense, scoring 40 points or more six times. But recently it is the defense that has stepped up to make big plays.“There’s a lot to be said for that �? finding ways to win,” Brees said. “Battle-tested. These last two weeks, we’ve had to win in the fourth quarter, had to come back and win in the fourth quarter. On the road, divisional games, those are going to be hard-fought. Those are going to be tough and the great teams find a way. Our guys believe we’re all going to step up, we’re going to do this together, somebody’s going to make a play.”The Saints didn’t make a lot of plays Monday, but they made enough.There was Eli Apple‘s interception of Cam Newton’s pass in the end zone with 10 seconds left before halftime. There was Von Bell’s strip of wide receiver D.J. Moore on an inside handoff and A.J. Klein‘s recovery, which led to the go-ahead score. There were four players who sacked Newton �? and none were named Cam Jordan. Alvin Kamara had a 50-yard kickoff return.The little plays all add up.“We are playing hard and playing for each other,” Apple said.Unlike some of the NFL’s other top teams �? namely, the Rams and Chiefs �? the Saints found a way to grind it out without their A game on offense this week.It didn’t matter that the offense failed to gain more than 30 yards on seven of its first eight drives. It didn’t matter because New Orleans could count on its defense.Jordan called it the best he’s ever played on.“I believe in us Brian Burns Jersey , game in and game out, first quarter to fourth quarter,” Jordan said. “If it comes down to a crucial play, I believe in us. If we need a turnover, I believe in us.”New Orleans has already wrapped up the NFC South title and can clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory in either of its last two games, both at home, against Pittsburgh and Carolina.Looking for their second Super Bowl championship in a decade, the well-rounded Saints might just be the favorites heading into the postseason.“We were just trying to stack weeks because you know you want to play your best ball in December,” said Bell, who also had seven tackles and a sack. “That’s what people remember and going into this last stretch we wanted to finish strong.”

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