Chief Concerns: Desmond Bailey
The Baltimore Ravens are headed to the playoffs after clinching a 2nd consecutive AFC North Title – a first in the history of the franchise. This will also mark their fifth straight trip to the post-season. I’m sorry folks, but the Chiefs need to get them some of this.
If the rumors hold true and Chiefs GM Scott Pioli is given his walking papers, then Ravens Assistant GM Eric DeCosta is the man the Chiefs need to target.
On DeCosta’s watch, and through excellent drafting and smart free agent acquisitions, Baltimore has carefully constructed a machine that I believe Chiefs Owner Clark Hunt desperately wants to emulate. Like DeCosta’s Ravens, Hunt wants the Chiefs to be a perennial playoff contender.
I know there are rumblings and mumblings about Bill Polian being the Chiefs next GM. Polian’s not a bad choice but the Chiefs need somebody like DeCosta - younger (41 years old) and tapped into the pulse of an ever-evolving league and collegiate landscape.
DeCosta is a forward thinker, with fresh ideas and a proven track record of draft-day and free agent success. To hire Polian would be too much of a reliance on accomplishments in a by-gone era, antiquated thinking, and an overall step backward. Polian is old (70 years old) and also old news. DeCosta is young and on the rise.
Since the Chiefs named Pioli general manager in 2009, DeCosta has been promoted twice by the Ravens – from Director of College Scouting to Director of Player Personnel in ’09 and lastly to Assistant General Manager shortly following the 2012 NFL Draft. Still, when a guy is this upward bound and sought after, there will be obstacles.
The Chiefs would have to wait until the Ravens exit the playoffs before they can approach DeCosta for an interview. That’s only assuming there’s a mutual interest as many feel the Ravens are grooming DeCosta as the eventual successor to current General Manager/Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome.
While that may be true, I personally feel the Chiefs GM position may peak DeCosta’s interest. Back in 2008, prior to Pioli’s hiring in ’09, I interviewed DeCosta via phone as I was preparing an article on him. DeCosta stated he’d love the opportunity to become the Chiefs next GM if the position were offered to him. He also expressed genuine admiration, respect and praise for the organization, its fans and the Hunt family.
Although this interview was conducted before DeCosta ascended the ranks of the Ravens front office, I have a gut feeling his gaze is occasionally fixed on Arrowhead Stadium, especially now with strong winds of change swirling about.
Maybe I’m hoping against hope. But although Polian is on the market, Hunt has everything to gain by waiting until DeCosta becomes available for a conversation. For my money, DeCosta is the better option if the Chiefs are to become the team that Hunt envisioned.
Talk to ya later