It’s a brave new world for the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens are adapting accordingly.
Teams have been forced to change the way they do business because of restrictions with COVID-19, which is still wreaking havoc across the world.
While many professional leagues, such as the NHL and NBA, are trying to salvage something financially, the NFL has managed to keep its business going despite the widespread restrictions on travel and large gatherings.
The Ravens are using technological platforms like Zoom to host meetings to keep the lines of communication open.
Baltimore is also staying alert over the threat of potential hacks and breakdowns with communication, which could have long-term consequences. Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been wary of some of threats after reading about some of the challenges in the financial news of various publications Today In: SportsMoney
“My level of involvement has been every time I read something in The Wall Street Journal or New York Times that talks about how messed up Zoom is or some of these other deals that came out this morning, I immediately text it to our IT people,” Harbaugh said in a conference call with reporters. “[Director of football administration] Nick Matteo is one of those guys, and they assure me that we are doing everything humanly possible, and I remind them that that’s what Wells Fargo and all those other places said about our private information.
“I’ve got some real concerns about that, and hopefully we’ll be okay. It’s kind of like that. We’ll see what happens. I really wouldn’t want the opposing coaches to have our playbook or our draft meetings. That would be preferable, if we can stay away from that.”
The use of technology will be even more prevalent with the 2020 NFL Draft fast approaching from April 23-25. Because of the ongoing limitations with the Coronavirus, teams will either have to gather at their headquarters or perhaps have to run the draft from their respective homes.
Baltimore General manager Eric DeCosta is embracing the challenge and is ready to adapt to the ever-changing situation. NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills is yet to make a determination as to how teams will gather during draft night, whether it be in person or through a virtual environment.
“That’s going to be up to the league and up to Dr. Allen Sills from the NFL office to make those determinations,” DeCosta said. “We’ll be prepared for any opportunity that exists, whether that’s here at the facility [or] another location. We’ll be ready to make picks when the time comes.”
The Ravens have nine selections in the upcoming draft, so communication is going to be vital. DeCosta is confident the team has done its due diligence on all of the potential players, despite the lack of Pro Days or team visits.
“We embrace this opportunity that we’ve been given to do this together as a staff,” DeCosta said. “Our coaches and scouts have been working very hard evaluating players, which is what we do. We started meetings this week. We’re actually meeting via Zoom. We had our first set of meetings this morning, and we’ll continue after this press conference finishing up with our meetings.
“And, hopefully, by Friday we’ll have our board stacked. We anticipate having about 185 players that we would consider to be draftable players for the Ravens, which is really, really good from a numbers standpoint. We’re excited about the players in this draft.”