The reality of Ravens offseason and importance of draft picks

Edholm colon Hard to argue with any of the decisions of Eric DeCosta on draft weekend
Edholm colon Hard to argue with any of the decisions of Eric DeCosta on draft weekend
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As Eric DeCosta takes his troops to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine, Dennis Koulatsos and Nestor gather once again to analyze all of the possibilities of the Ravens offseason with salary cap limitations and lots of tough decisions ahead before the April 25th draft in Detroit.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, Dennis Koulatsos

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn st Towson, Baltimore. Baltimore positive we were positively back out on the crabcake trail soon. I’m still putting the pieces together from a cup of Super Bowl we had 78 pieces out lots of charity pieces. Even people like Lynn Raskin to came on this week talking about Mt. Washington pediatric hospital need to get to them. But we have charities we have good things going on and we’re gonna get back out to handing out the America lottery 10 times the cash I have a handful these left from Sioux couple Super Bowl also our friends at winter nation. And as we get out and about I love having this guy on. It’s been a little while he’s been running around the last couple weeks run a little car dealership over the west side of Canada was Ballmer Ford, as he always does, but also, this is a week 10 The first thing that showed up my timeline after Luke showed up in my face at 605. In the morning we’re doing radio was this picture of me and Luke and John Harbaugh together in the Lucas Oil Stadium in front of some Peyton Manning mural. at Indianapolis where it’s eight degrees out and the Combine I mean our friendship I guess started with you as a listener and by the way I met some other people from Eastern they they don’t call it Evie tea anymore they get all fed when I leave yeah Eastern. So they were at the Leukemia Lymphoma Society event the other night raising money for an incredible cause saved my wife’s life. But you know, I would say for all of this like this is the time of year I think of you because you are Mr. Combine when you know you come to me through football, baseball, our friendship, the Greek community, all the sea side, all this stuff we have Cydonia in common, but really like you’re the original sort of car dealer guy that love love, love the giraffe your draft, Nick right.


Dennis Koulatsos  01:40

I certainly was. It was the eye and Mel Kiper. Unfortunately though for me, he had better hair he had better hair, better hair and he also had a covered haul education out of vocational education. So he had a leg up on the good ol Mel but I still love the draft as much as always glad to see it’s out of it’s moved from Indianapolis now it’s in the in Michigan great State of Michigan so that would up that my Providence cop on a plane and actually go for one semester if but if my schedule that allows it but it’s always very intriguing starts of course Thursday the 29th and meeting up to the April 25 to 27th NFL draft

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:19

alright so on the continuum of all of this I I’ve done the backstage pass with Luke earlier today saying I started going in 2002 like that Phil Savage was really like an end to caster nasty you gotta come on out. I’ll introduce you to all the scouts and everybody’s got great scouts like Eric Koston Johor T’s here and you know, all these guys showed up Big Joe D here, the Turk you know, like, that’s the era you know, hard knocks bill is still the coach. Gruden is running around sneering in the morning with Tampa and Marvin was just just signed on in Cincinnati when I went out there. And I remember all those drafts and all that. They’ve scared off people like us, right? Like it’s this giant room of mainly young wannabe journalists who are taking their cameras out and having access the young players and a real press pass because the NFL encourages the college community to come out and cover their player that’s going into the draft. So you see just kids from Bowling Green are there you know what I mean? With media badges, and they bring the kid they bring the wannabes through but they’re all handled. They don’t have an agent. They don’t have a nutritionist. They all have a lawyer they did. They all have a personal chef, they have all of this. And in the underwear Olympics part of television. It’s a thing that I don’t say it’s jumped the shark. But you don’t need to subscribe. The Joel Busch bomber, Mel Kiper, the way I did 30 years ago or the sporting news of the our lads or whatever. Like, it’s a little oversaturated. And, and this is the time of the year where the hype sometimes, you know, overcomes the realities of the mike Molas. Right. Absolutely.

Dennis Koulatsos  04:00

Mike Mengele. For us. He was a phenom in the underwear Olympics, and he shot from a mid round prospect to you know, very high graphic for the Philadelphia Eagles back in the day, of course, but yes, it’s intriguing. But now as you mentioned, everybody has access to it. Nestor, there’s a online there are all kinds of NFL draft mock draft simulators where you can just, you know, play with the system and pick this player and pick that player. And so, in terms of expertise from that been watered down because anyone with a computer can become a self professed expert, and no offense to the young guys, but they haven’t they haven’t lived right they’ve just don’t have the experience. They don’t have the knowledge of watching tape and what to look for, and what to pay attention to as well the psychological aspect of football, not just the physical aspect because it’s what’s in the man’s heart and his mind that determines your success. Do they really love football? I remember asking John Urschel Do you really love football or is this a spring Brought to you just being a mathematician. And of course, when he CTE report came out in 222, out of 223, and the club players had CTE, the very next morning, John Urschel tapped out, he was too smart to play football. And I’m saying that they’re respectfully. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:14


in this particular case, they are trying to figure out who’s smart. And they certainly look like they hit something on Kyle Hamilton, right? And then the say, flowers goes out and play so well. And now, you know, the bottom are banners right in columns, and making me wonder about guys like me being thrown out that I don’t get to ask a question about any of it, and they’re gonna brush it under. They did that. They did that when a guy punched his wife in the glass elevator. And that was very, you know, like, they’re willing to lie about anything to get these guys on the field. But the bad news of bad guys and troubled players and how it affects their draft and even going back to the Gasp Bong mask with the kid that could be going to the Hall of Fame. Now it’s on so it’s such an industry, right? And it’s such a good guy, bad guy, good egg, bad egg. In a lot of cases, it’s good situation or bad situation. You know, going back to Aaron Hernandez and like the awful, awful things that can happen, or the really great things that could happen where you find a Kurt Warner who’s a Hall of Fame human and a hall of fame player that didn’t even get

Dennis Koulatsos  06:23

drafted, right? Yep, he was bagging groceries at the local supermarket before he got his opportunity. I think a great film as the draft a with Kevin Costner talks about the Cleveland Browns when they look at this quarterback and they realize that he had a birthday party and nobody showed up. So I know it was fictional, but those things do matter. What what does what does a player do? When he’s off the field? How does it behave? We talked about Joe Flacco sleeping on his mother’s as couch right he was a model citizen for many years for the Baltimore Ravens and has remained a model citizen he’s never been in trouble right. So you’re looking for

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:57

going back to the first night with a savage and John Ogden which I know you know, I’ve written about that in both books. Like literally you’ll never sleep at night Mr. modell. If you draft Lawrence Phillips that was what savage said to art modell. Yeah, it was very

Dennis Koulatsos  07:10

prophetic. And it was became very true, right. Lawrence Phillips, I believe he killed himself in jail or something like that. He had a horrible life, nevermind his collegiate and NFL career. But that’s when the character matters, then the best ability that Nestor has availability in any business, particularly in NFL you want players who are leaders, you want players who love to practice you love you like you want players who don’t have a significant injury history. Right. And that’s I think, an area that Ray was really needs to stay away from, particularly in that with Lamar Jackson’s cap number rising every year, just like the Kansas City Chiefs. They have to draft well any team that has a franchise quarterback, they’ve got to draft well or they’re going to be in deep deep trouble.


Nestor J. Aparicio  07:52

That is Colossus is our guest and our friend that we love having him on and we’re talking football here moment is you have anything to say about baseball at all, because this is a week about football for you. But I would think you probably have a sponsorship on Masson, you’re probably going to opening day you’re probably thinking along the lines of there’s going to be different owners here at some point. But I tell you what, man, you and I pitched about the ownership. And, you know, I know it’s was your inclination to give the Angeles family every benefit of the doubt in 1990 568. It’s now 2024. Man they had me sucked in 1230 is a pregame show. And you want to believe it’s new things and I know there’s going to be new owners and they’re not here yet. And how much can we expect that we’re not going to number one pitcher, right, but I put the game on on Saturday and the pregame shows the same awfulness Palmer’s calling the games from a TV studio, but the centerfield camera was shaking. You couldn’t see the strike zone and it shook for nine innings. So for nine innings the strike zone every time they would show a pitch. And I’m thinking to myself, Man, you’re 19 years into having a television network with Vince McMahon say it was windy that night. And we shot the guy like like who would would the the people that shoot the the city game were the ninja trick Ninja Warriors. I mean, come on, dude. It’s it’s 2024 you own a television network that is not primarily solely exists off of the public T of cable television solely exists to promote the baseball team. And you can’t even get the camera right on opening day. And and the poor general managers they’re talking about 101 wins and the cameras going up and down a day like and I just, it’s just an embarrassing operation and I really hope that they can the next opening day just to all of it needs to be deodorized Right? Like when new management takes over, new ownership takes over. It’s great if you You have a successful place, and everything’s awesome. And you don’t have to make changes. I think it’s a whole different thing here for when smart people like you and I that had been backstage, no a sausage is made and been in the kitchen. But from a business standpoint, how we’re approaching the business level, how fans are treated, just an agenda, how the media is treated, and how they’re perceived. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do. Because I have a feeling when you spend 1,000,000,008 coming in here, even if you don’t know what you’re doing, and you come in like a bull in a china shop, to some degree that we’re going to witness something here that’s going to look and feel different than a shaky, Cameron centerfield. Hopefully, when it’s all done,

Dennis Koulatsos  10:39

what’s your point, their marketing team has reached out to me and a lot of my friends and business associates and looking at a 13 pack season pack, right? The the seats that are like, six to $8,000 range, I’m not spending that kind of money. For 13 ballgames. I’m just not right. I want to go I’ll go on game day and buy a cheap seat and just get in the stadium. But it’s very expensive to get season tickets. That’s true. And that’s not me. Can’t do that.

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:06

Well let her Raskin was just floating around his club level six and a quarter if you want to sit on the 50 yard line club level. So it’s 1350 a pair for every home game. And that that is palatable to the folks that are paying that right like so to the point I go to concerts and I see what people are paying to sit in front for Pearl Jam or pick your concert, you pick your Usher, you know, whatever you want to say Taylor Swift document, you know, whatever the industry lead is, um, the Ravens just sent out their tickets to and every day they begged me to come back and sit in the seat that they threw me out literally. I mean, it’s hilarious to me. But it’s it’s sad, you know that the but they’re now going to compete, right? They’re competing for all of our hearts, all of our wallets. The Orioles feel like they’re gonna get up and kneel and walk again. Right and they’re gonna win. They, I mean, the Orioles stand a better chance right? If you had $1 on who’s going to win a championship here. The Oriole stand a better chance over the next three, four years. I believe if I had $1 Not, I would bet the whole dollar. But I would bet 60 cents that the baseball team stands a better chance of winning than the football team just based on salary cap where they are, where the star players might be. And the fact that the baseball team is going to have an infusion of new philosophy that can’t be worse than the last philosophy.

Dennis Koulatsos  12:27


Now but circling back to the football game Napster up on a whim, about a week ago, I took a look to see how many PSLs the Ravens had for sale on our site. It was about 3000 Tickets available. 3000 individual seats were in sharp contrast, a lot of NFL teams, they have a 510 1520 in the case of Green Bay, a 30 year waiting list for season tickets just to get on the list. Right? So 3000 PSL is available today.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:57

2000 to 998, and then mine, then it’s just so so for football, it because I want to stick with football with you. Because it mean it’s it again, I mean, nobody covered the combine to draft and really stopped their life, then sort of a religious High Holy religious holiday, from now on through through draft period for most of your lifetime. I don’t know where you are at this point of giving your run of the dealership and this and that. And the Ravens draft 30th I think it’s different when they’re drafting Peter bowl where forth, we all sort of boned up on it. But I would just say for them this offseason, the word I have used, and the cap number helps them with the extra $10 million. And Eric knew that was common. You know what, they’re not dumb. This This wasn’t some to the fans. It’s like, oh my god, they knew that the cat number was gonna rise they they know nor they didn’t have to count their own beans, it’s one thing they’re really good at doing scouting their own money. But the place that the Ravens find them in this season is diminished. And that’s unusual that every year you could say Well don’t be as good, they lost the sky, they got that guy, you know, you can make that case, I just think it’s going to be hard for them not to be diminished. Just what happened to their coaching staff alone, let alone what they can and can’t control with the salary cap and the Zeitler in the genius that the dead money they just took on and whatever they’re going to do with Stanley, whatever they’re going to do with Matt, a beak any just huge decisions coming here on the balance in the next couple of weeks.

Dennis Koulatsos  14:22

Yeah, the array was there one of the few teams that at least in recent history, they stay true to the board, they will draft the best players like Mark Elam ProStart pyramid they will not do that. They’ll stand still at 30 and they’ll draft the best left tackle quarterback available that’s my opinion about how this year’s draft is gonna go just like the last dozen draft they’ve had.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:48

Well, I mean the tackle thing you’re all about that I’m almost more worried about the guards right now right? Like I mean Kate mana


Dennis Koulatsos  14:55

have they have Vorhees a kid from run by you by See that tore his knee last year and still put up 38 times to two and a quarter to combine. I think he’ll compete for a starting spot. I see Kevin’s Lightner coming back. So I think with Vorhees and, and Zeitler they’ll be fine. And guard, my biggest concern is Ronnie Stanley, and to a lesser degree, Morgan Moses, in terms of their age and the time they’ve spent in the tub versus on the field, do

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:23

you believe they’ll sign cycler after giving, giving up the cat money, they couldn’t come to terms?

Dennis Koulatsos  15:27

I do, because I don’t know what the market is for him. I know he loves playing for Baltimore. I know he loves playing with this offensive line. And so I do see him coming back with a lesser deal than Florida. Law, certainly let him test the market. But I do think is more valuable to the Ravens. And I do think they need to keep Lamar Jackson upright, they need to open the holes for the running backs. So I do think that you’ll see an investment in that offensive line with a first or second round draft pick that neither did tackle Nestor.

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:56


Well, I know you haven’t been talking to Lucas regularly here but I talked to Luke this week and he’s concerned about the Ronnie Stanley renegotiation or whatever that’s gonna be Hey, Ronnie, take a pay cut. Well, I mean, St. Louis said no, thank you. I’ll go I’ll go hit the market. I don’t know where they would be in that case, but are they better off playing with Ronnie Stanley or having a kaput and finding the next guy or to your point drafting a guy and saying maybe you’ll be the guy and Morgan Moses and Getting Younger either me and Linda Obama at some point is going to be a number for them right? I mean that that that number is going to move and I think they’re married to him as long as they have Lamar like Linda balms the guy that’s gonna get the next pile of money and they’re gonna try to do it cheaper at the tackle through the draft but the Ronnie Stanley cap ID number the fact that they need to go play 20 games with a left tackle next year whether he’s the right guy you’re not at this point. And then even Marlon Humphrey taken a big cap number on Luke and I went through this these guys with huge cap numbers that aren’t playing to it right now that usually doesn’t spell good things. No but Eric

Dennis Koulatsos  17:03

the caster has his hands full but that’s what happens when you have a successful team. That’s exactly what happens when you draft well guys like Marlin Humphrey, Leonard ROM and also Kyle Hamilton, eventually they’ll have to give him a big bag as well but that’s why they have to be real successful in rounds one through seven that cannot afford to make mistakes particularly with day one and day two picks that they got to hit on these guys guys can come in and play sooner rather than later be available and and they can impact on the team

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:31

we’ve talked so much about the running back and given money to say Quan Barkley or you know these fans of fantasy teams in February end of Feb you know it’s literally it’s fantasy world but and looks like they don’t have guards they got to tackle that’s broken down another guy it’s old and like and they got to protect the quarterback and everything happens comes from the quarterback like how much money you think they have how much draft capital you think they have like where they are in the MATA BK thing and where they’re going to be with Patrick queen and trying to figure that out like this is that they got their hands full, right. I mean it especially on the back end of losing an AFC Championship game at home and the disappointment of all that, and how frickin hard it is to get there. Like the Oreos trying to win 101 games again, when Brad is sheer, you know? And there’s no Batista and you know, like, all the things are gonna go wrong because things do go wrong. And for the ravens, everything went right. Until the championship game, anything go right now all of a sudden, everything’s sort of gone wrong for four weeks, right, from losing coaches to just say flowers. I mean it you know, like, whatever that is, it’s probably not good, but it certainly wasn’t good. Whatever it is, it’s not good.

Dennis Koulatsos  18:42

Well, you know, you build a team from the trenches out from the offensive line defensive line out and the Kansas City Chiefs are a perfect example of that. Of course, they have a fantastic quarterback but look at his offensive line. And look at the defensive line. I mean, that Chris Jones guy, he’d look great in the Ravens uniform or anybody uniform, but when you can put pressure on a quarterback and you can protect the quarterback, that’s where it starts and that’s where it ends and running back master you can get and you can get as a free agent or even in a mid round of a draft you can get a decent one.


Nestor J. Aparicio  19:13

I love how you said they’re gonna have to pay Kyle Hamilton I’m thinking you’re gonna say what Billick says yeah, and you’re just the safety you know what I mean? I can only pay you so much. I saw this with the tight ends that I’m gonna get my three chadway sling on and talk about running backs getting screwed and all that stuff because he represents Josh Jacobson and when we went out in the crabcakes where I love Chad he offered me tickets for a comedy Thing Two weeks ago I could take them but I want to get get together with him because the tight end things the next thing right like when you look at the salary structure like tight ends or get screwed you can’t win without one everybody. I mean they are the secret weapon. I mean, where would the Ravens be without tight ends the last 20 years like starting was sharp and he’d been did it you just go through the whole list right? To Andrews, right. Like I look at it and I’m like, Oh, they’re kind of get screwed. You know, like Ron kowski would say that when he was upright, pay me Like a wide receiver dude I’m productive. Well that’s

Dennis Koulatsos  20:02

why he had to do something else off the field right so he’s become a social media sensation NFL analyst does commercials kicking field goals at the Superbowl? Right. That’s right. That’s the Gronk that’s his brand he he knew he had to leverage his celebrity. His 15 minutes of fame into something greater than his football career. He knew

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:19

being the most annoying man on earth would be appealing to some Secondly, he’s got a great following that is selling cars tell me what you’re doing out there give me making my offer they can’t refuse

Dennis Koulatsos  20:30


Oh man, we’re just month month and for us month beginning for next month now. Extra day leap the extra day to sell cars extra day to buy cars right it’s a great environment Fred you’re right all these expectations all the good stuff man no payment for 90 days 1.9 2.90% A certain models we have 400 brand new vehicles 200 pre loved vehicles in stock. So again, nestra businesses very good to hear security Boulevard.

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:56

So let me say this when it’s all over with through and you hang up your your golden spikes, awards and all the President’s awards and all that and you become a consultant to the industry. Would you tell people to buy a car in February? Because Is there is there a month this peel back the curtain stop all the sales guy crap we’ve been doing for 30 years? What’s the right month? Is there? Is there a month?

Dennis Koulatsos  21:17

It really isn’t? I mean, you just because every month stands on its own. So it depends on depends on a lot of factors, availability of inventory, has

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:26

there been a month over 25 years that every year in that month you’ve just sold more cars than other months? Well,


Dennis Koulatsos  21:32

you know, December is a great time because you’re pushing numbers incentives are usually good and manufacturers got incentives and because they’re trying to finish up strong for the year so it almost

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:43

goes all the commercials with all the male female that if you give her a car for you know put up the bow on it during the Christmas season right now coming down families all out love that’s come on December

Dennis Koulatsos  21:55

middle of December until January 1 That’s that’s when you want to buy a vehicle if you can time the market. All right, say my my two cents my two cents and it’s just

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:06

consulting go see him over security Boulevard. We’ve been seeing him for almost a quarter of a century here. We appreciate that. It’s good to have you on man. Great talks and thank you so much. Thank you man. We’ll do some baseball in a couple of weeks here I love St. Patrick’s Day. Oh come and go and next thing you know it’ll be ain’t the beer call. I am Esther. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stopped talking. Baltimore positive

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