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Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta not among 6 Colts GM finalists

Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta not among 6 Colts GM finalists

It appears the latest offseason flirtation with Eric DeCosta is over, if it ever got started.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Colts would request permission to interview DeCosta for their vacant general manager job. It has practically become an annual offseason ritual for some team to court the Ravens assistant GM and heir apparent to Ozzie Newsome.

But the Colts have announced a list of six candidates for the GM job, and DeCosta is not among them.

It's unclear whether the Colts ever did ask for permission, or whether DeCosta declined, but it appears DeCosta will remain with the Ravens, the organization he has been with since 1996. DeCosta worked his way up the Ravens organization, with positions as a scout, college scouting director and director of player personnel. He was named assistant general manager in 2012.

DeCosta has been linked to GM openings in the offseason for several years but has turned down numerous interview opportunities.

DeCosta and other key Ravens front office personnel are at the Senior Bowl this week. He has not commented on the Colts GM search.

Last year, when asked about turning down chances at other GM jobs and staying with the Ravens under Newsome – who has given no indication he is close to retiring – DeCosta said, "Every day I come in and work with my friends, and I think it’s a relationship business. In the end, personal ambitions aside, all you have is really your reputation and your friends and your enjoyment in life. And I love Baltimore, the community. My wife is from Baltimore, I’ve been here 20 years, my kids go to school here, so it’s great."

The Colts interview list includes their own interim GM, Jimmy Raye, along with Chris Ballard, director of football operations with the Chiefs; Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, co-directors of pro personnel with the Seahawks; Vikings assistant GM George Paton and Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf.

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Antonio Brown apologizes for streaming Steelers' locker room scene

Antonio Brown apologizes for streaming Steelers' locker room scene

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown apologized Tuesday night for streaming live video from the Steelers locker room on Sunday featuring coach Mike Tomlin calling the New England Patriots 'a--h---s' in advance of Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

Brown posted the locker room scene through Facebook Live and has since deleted it.

Ironically enough, the video also included Tomlin telling his team to "keep a low profile."

"I'm sorry for my actions and behavior after Sunday's game," Brown posted on his Twitter feed. "I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans."

"It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.

"I'm sorry for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

Tomlin, of course, has indeed been asked about the video as the Steelers try to prepare for the AFC title game at New England.

"It was foolish for him to do that, it was selfish for him to do that, it was inconsiderate for him to do that," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows.

"There are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective," Tomlin added. "We will punish him, we won't punish us."

 Translation: He might take a hit in the wallet, but he's playing Sunday, and don't think for a fraction of a second he's not.

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Playoff winners expose Ravens shortcomings

Playoff winners expose Ravens shortcomings

And then there were four.

Four teams remain in the hunt for Super Bowl LI, and this weekend's games showed exactly what it takes to survive and advance this time of year. They also illustrated, quite clearly, how the current Ravens simply don't rise up to that level.

Here are two ways in particular:

* Strong quarterback play

Aaron Rodgers needed less than a minute to move his team into position for a game-winning field goal against Dallas.

Then again, the Cowboys' Dak Prescott needed less than a minute to move his team into position to tie the game moments earlier.

Did the Ravens offense under Joe Flacco this year ever appear capable of pulling off such a feat?

Atlanta's Matt Ryan threw three touchdowns without an interception as the Falcons rolled past Seattle. He averaged 9.1 yards per pass play, above their league-best regular-season average of 8.8. That's what an efficient, potent passing game looks like. The Ravens ranked 26th this year, averaging 6.04 yards per pass play.

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* Playmakers

When Dallas got inside the Packers' 10-yard line in the final four minutes, trailing 28-20, was there any doubt that the ball was going to Dez Bryant? The Packers had to know it. They just couldn't stop it. Bryant reached up with his 6-2, 220-pound frame and hauled in the inside slant that made it 28-26, and then Prescott scored on a quarterback draw for a two-point conversion to tie the game.

Did the Ravens this year ever have such a proven, go-to target near the goal line? If they did, they probably wouldn't have ranked 20th in red zone percentage this year and relied so heavily on kicker Justin Tucker. Too many field goals instead of touchdowns doomed this team.

Aaron Rodgers had to improvise, then made a great throw with an even better catch by Jared Cook to set up the winning field goal. Could the Ravens have pulled off that play this year?

When the Steelers were trying to close out their win over the Chiefs, they opted to throw a pass, knowing an incompletion would stop the clock and possibly give the ball back to the Chiefs. It carried some risk, but Ben Roethlisberger found Antonio Brown for a game-clinching first down.

The Steelers could have opted to run the ball with Le'Veon Bell, who piled up 170 yards on 30 carries. That's what a commitment to the run looks like.

Brown, Bryant and Julian Edelman all finished with more than 100 receiving yards.

Each of these teams has playmakers, and they all stepped up.

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