Ravens GM DeCosta denies rift with John Harbaugh


The transition is complete, and the Eric DeCosta era has begun in Baltimore.

The new GM made one thing very clear in his introductory press conference: Despite reports to the contrary, he has no issue with head coach John Harbaugh.

"I can tell you this, John is the only coach I want to work with," DeCosta said, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

Rumors of a rift between Harbaugh and DeCosta fueled the fire that heated Harbaugh's seat during the regular season before the shift to Lamar Jackson propelled the Ravens to a 6-1 finish and AFC North title. The impending arrival of the new general manager made it seem more possible that perhaps Harbaugh would step down from his post around the same time Ozzie Newsome left his for a less-involved advisory role after two-plus decades of success as GM. New GM, new coach for a team that would again miss the playoffs -- why not?

Of course, Baltimore's run to the postseason changed things. Buoyed by his ability to adjust his team's offensive philosophy on the fly, Harbaugh signed a new four-year deal last week. DeCosta's coach was in place upon his arrival to his new post.

"I would read it, and all I would think to myself is, 'We have enemies out there who are trying to create divisions and cracks and fissures and things like that,'" DeCosta said. "So I get it. But it did upset me a little bit, I think, because it just wasn't true and it was a personal thing. It wasn't work-related; it wasn't a game or something that would affect the outcome of a game or strategy. It was personal, and it was simply not true."

These two are not unfamiliar. DeCosta was one of Newsome's first hires in 1996, when the team moved from Cleveland to Baltimore and rebranded as the Ravens. He's since moved up within the front office, playing pivotal roles in the selection of multiple Baltimore All-Pros in the last 20 years. His step to GM finally arrived in 2018, when Newsome decided to move on from his duties as GM.

"I love this place," DeCosta said of the Ravens organization, per the team's official site. "I love the idea that I started here when we had a blank helmet on our stationary, and we had holes in the walls over there at the police barracks on Owings Mills Boulevard, and all the tape was just scattered everywhere in the hallways. One of my jobs was to take all that tape and file it away. Here we are now."

Harbaugh has been the head coach of the Ravens since 2008. The two even live about 100 yards from each other, per Hensley. DeCosta admitted the two have disagreed over personnel over the years, but from an organizational standpoint, disagreements can be constructive.

Here's to hoping the only serious disagreements they have in the future are about lawncare techniques, for Baltimore's sake.