Kokinis' departure triggers Ravens promotions

OWINGS MILLS -- As expected, the departure of George Kokinis to become the Cleveland Browns' general manager has triggered three promotions in the Baltimore Ravens' scouting department.

The Ravens elevated director of college scouting Eric DeCosta to director of player personnel, assistant director of player personnel Vince Newsome now has Kokinis' old job as director of pro personnel and national scout Joe Hortiz is the new director of college scouting.

"All of thse men have been with the Baltimore Ravens for the bulk of our organization's existence," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "They have been involved in every facet of the acquisition of our players, and they understand our process. They are all looking forward to their new challenge, and the energy they bring to their positions will continue to make us better."

DeCosta, 37, had been director of college scouting since 2003 when former Ravens executive and Browns general manager Phil Savage, whom Kokinis replaced, was promoted to director of player personnel.

It's a move that signals that DeCosta is now Newsome's primary lieutenant after previously working as a Midwest area scout years ago.

A former NFL safety with the Browns and Rams, Vince Newsome has been assistant director of pro personnel since 2003. Newsome, 48, was hired by the Browns in 1993 as a special-assignment scout and operated as the Ravens' West area scout from 1996 to 1999 before being promoted in 2000 to western college supervisor.

Working in tandem with Kokinis, Newsome was responsible for advance scouting of opponents, holding free agent workouts and evaluating college players.

Hortiz, 33, has worked for the Ravens for 11 years, starting out as a personnel assistant before being promoted to national scout in 2006. He was previously a Northeast area scout and Southeast area scout.

Prior to the Ravens' draft last spring, the Auburn alumnus paid special attention to the East where the team found seven of its 10 draft picks. One of Hortiz's past recommendations is starting left guard Ben Grubbs, a former Baltimore first-round draft pick from Auburn.

NOTES: The San Francisco 49ers reportedly hired former New York Jets running backs coach Jimmy Raye II as their offensive coordinator Wednesday night, edging out Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson. Jackson interviewed twice with 49ers coach Mike Singletary, who tabbed Raye instead. Raye has several more years experience as an offensive coordinator than Jackson, who has coordinated offenses with the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons. ... Ravens free safety Ed Reed, who dealt with a nerve impingement in his neck all season, has withdrawn from the Pro Bowl and was replaced by Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin. ... Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is expected to be named the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year today.

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