Mark Azevedo

AFC Staff Notes: Ravens, Bengals, Steelers

The Ravens saw David Blackburn get promoted into their director of college scouting position recently. According to Ravens staff writer Ryan Mink, Blackburn was not alone in his promotion. This week, Baltimore announced promotions for Mark Azevedo, Houegnon Attenoukon, Patrick McDonough, and Derrick Yam, as well.

Azevedo was promoted to assistant director of player personnel in his 18th year with the team, assisting the Ravens’ two directors of player personnel, Joe Hortiz and George Kokinis. Attenoukon, known in the clubhouse as “Q,” is entering his sixth year with the team and was promoted to a full-time role as an area scout. The area he will cover has not yet been determined. McDonough is becoming the team’s northeast area scout. Yam was promoted from his role of quantitative analyst into the position of manager of data and decision science. Yam conducts data-based player evaluations for both college and professional players. He builds statistical models from a variety of data sources designed to assess player value, performance, and development.

Here are a few other notes concerning staff moves in the AFC North, starting with the reigning division champions:

Staff Notes: Newsome, Panthers, Lions

Despite ceding his post as Ravens GM to longtime lieutenant Eric DeCosta, Ozzie Newsome remains a central presence in Baltimore’s front office. He played a key role in the Ravens adding Earl Thomas, despite not having an official title. He does now. Amid a staff shakeup, the Ravens revealed (via Newsome will serve as their executive vice president. The Hall of Fame tight end and Super Bowl-winning executive will continue to advise DeCosta. This should help a Ravens team in a bit of a transition, considering Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco and C.J. Mosley are no longer with the franchise. Newsome, 63, sticking around will provide vital continuity.

Here is the latest on some front office situations around the league, staying first with more from the Ravens’ new-look staff:

  • The Ravens will now have co-directors of player personnel, moving former college scouting director Joe Horwitz and previous senior personnel assistant George Kokinis into the position. The Ravens brought in Kokinis in 2010, following a short stay as the Browns’ general manager. The Ravens promoted Mark Azevedo from his northeast area scout post to player personnel coordinator and made Chad Alexander their assistant director of pro and college personnel. Vincent Newsome will move from director of pro personnel into a senior player personnel executive position, and Nick Matteo will now oversee the Ravens’ salary cap. Matteo spent 10 years as an NFL management council exec.
  • While their staff changes were not as sweeping as the Ravens’, the Panthers have some key figures in new positions. A 22nd-year Panthers exec, Jeff Morrow will take over as Carolina’s player personnel director after heading the franchise’s college scouting department. Fourth-year Panthers staffer Eric Stokes will move into Morrow’s former role. Former Panthers wide receiver Mark Carrier, a ninth-year member of the team’s front office, will become executive director of the Panthers’ football staff.
  • Lastly, the Lions reshuffled a few roles. Dave Sears will rise from Detroit’s assistant director of college scouting to leading that department. Rob Lohman will make the same move on the pro side. Both Sears and Lohman have been with the Lions for 13 years.