Baltimore Ravens' new CEO, Eric DeCosta, reported on conflicts with John Harbaugh and praised the coach at his inaugural press conference on Wednesday for his friendship, vision and conviction.
"I can tell you, John is the only coach I want to work with," DeCosta said.
DeCosta pointed out that they are neighbors both in the Ravens plant and in real life. DeCosta and Harbaugh live about 100 meters apart.
In recent months, The Baltimore Sun and the local sports radio station speculated that DeCosta and Harbaugh are "out of the closeness" and have a "tight relationship". DeCosta, who replaced Ozzie Newsome as General Manager, said the speculation bothered him.
"I would read it, and all I would think about is:" We have enemies out there trying to create fissures, cracks and crevices, and so on, "DeCosta said. "So I understand it. But it bothered me a bit, I think, because it just was not true and it was a personal thing. It was not work related, it was not a game or something that would do it affect the outcome of a game or strategy. It was personal and it just was not true. "
Harbaugh, who attended the DeCosta press conference earlier this month, said he admired DeCosta's energy and passion. They've been working side by side for the last 11 years since Harbaugh became a coach in 2008. DeCosta, who initially started as an intern at the Ravens and climbed the ladder, was promoted to Assistant GM in 2012.
The Ravens and Harbaugh agreed last week on a new four-year contract until 2022.
DeCosta acknowledged that Harbaugh and himself do not always agree, especially when it comes to rating players.
"I think what I've learned over the years … it's healthy to have disagreements or to see things differently," DeCosta said. "You have to make the best decision for the organization, and you do that by talking about things, not running away from them, not closing your door, talking about those things, you're facing the problem."