“Every game before the game, I make 10 threes from 10 spots on the court. That’s 100 threes.” –Washington Post [Gilbert Arenas pre-game work] Pro Sports Front Office- 20/20
Vision Known as the Wizard of Oz during his Hall of Fame career as a Browns tight end, Ozzie Newsome has been every bit as innovative running the Ravens’ Front Office. Most of Newsome’s talent evaluators start out in what’s known as the 20/20 Club: twenty-somethings, generally recent college grads or summer interns, who work for $20, 000/year. They copy playbooks, make coffee, edit film and drive people to the airport. (The Ravens give draft prospects “Van Grades” for how they act on the way to and from the airport-when they think no one is paying attention.) By the time a young scout is ready for his own territory, according to Ravens pro-personnel chief George Kokinis, his immersion in the team’s inner workings has taught him exactly how to identify the DNA of a potential Raven. Just to be sure, though, Newsome holds a scout school at training camp, where the coaches speak to the scouts for half an hour about the exact kind of player they’re looking for at each position. When the Ravens decide to change from, say lanky wide receivers to smaller, more explosive pass-catchers, their scouts are on the road the next day with the ideal prototype in mind.