The Baltimore Ravens have long been considered a model NFL franchise. The Ravens draft well, build their rosters from the inside out and have historically made wise salary and contract decisions.
Since relocating to Baltimore in 1996, the Ravens have won two Super Bowls (2000, 2012). The club has made the playoffs eight times in the past 12 years, including six out of the past seven campaigns.
Conversely, the Chicago Bears have made the postseason just once in the past seven seasons, so it’s no surprise the team is trying to raid Baltimore’s cupboard.
Chicago is currently in the market for both a general manager and a head coach. For the GM position, the Bears have expressed interest in Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta and pro personnel director Vince Newsome.
For head coach, the Bears are interested in Baltimore offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
Kubiak was head coach of the Houston Texans from 2006-2013 and, before that, the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos from 1995-2005. As a coach, Kubiak has won three Super Bowls – XXIX with the 49ers, XXXII and XXXIII with the Broncos.
With seven years experience as a head coach and three Super Bowl rings, Kubiak has very impressive pedigree. The Texans made the playoffs twice with him in charge – in 2011 and 2012 – and went 2-2 in the postseason, including a 31-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012 with T.J. Yates at quarterback.
The Ravens this season finished 12th in the NFL in total offense (364.9 yards per game) and 8th in scoring (25.6 points per game). Kubiak has always been known for his strong rushing attack that relies heavily on zone-blocking schemes, as well as a downfield passing attack. Over the past eight years, Kubiak’s rushing attacks have averaged ninth best in the NFL.
Kubiak also built a strong defense in Houston. Between 2011-2013, his final three years as head coach, the Texans finished 7th, 7th and 2nd in total defense.
The New York Jets have already scheduled an interview with Kubiak for their vacancy at head coach.
DeCosta has been a hot name as a potential GM for many years. This will be the second time the Bears have courted DeCosta, who turned down the GM position in 2012 before Phil Emery was hired. DeCosta has also turned down the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders. The New York Jets have also expressed interest in DeCosta for their open GM position.
DeCosta has worked for Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome for 17 years, working his way up the executive ladder. He was named assistant GM in 2012 and has shown strong loyalty to Newsome throughout his career.
DeCosta has played a strong role in the drafting of Pro Bowl players Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Jamal Lewis, Bart Scott, Le’Ron McClain, Haloti Ngata, Marshal Yanda, Ben Grubbs and Ray Rice, as well as Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.
Vince Newsome (no relation to Ozzie) has been Baltimore’s director of pro personnel the past five seasons. He originally joined the organization’s personnel department in 1993, after 11 years as an NFL safety.
Ozzie recently gave Ernie Accorsi, hired by the Bears as a consultant in the GM search, a strong recommendation for Vince.
Ideally, Chicago’s front office would like to pilfer DeCosta from the Ravens. They tried to get him three years ago and will make a strong push for him again. Yet if DeCosta remains in Baltimore, or if he chooses the Jets instead, Newsome would be a solid backup option.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.