Both cornerback Duane Starks and linebacker Jarret Johnson were quietly solid players for the Ravens before departing in free agency for the promise of more money. Now they return as current Ravens, but under a scouting internship during training camp according to Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com.
Part of the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship, Johnson and Starks are joined by former Ravens' wide receiver Patrick Williams as scouting interns for two weeks during training camp. The fellowship was created by the NFL in January to educate former players that were interested in a career after football in scouting.
Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com mentions that despite Johnson coming back to retire as a Raven, he didn't stay retired for long as general manager Ozzie Newsome offered the former linebacker the internship while he was in town for his retirement ceremony.
Hell yeah! How can I miss out on that?" Johnson told Newsome. "It’s a little different, but it’s a learning experience. It’s fun seeing the other side of the game."
"The Ravens have far-and-away the best scouting department in the game. To come in and learn from [General Manager] Ozzie Newsome and [Assistant General Manager] Eric [DeCosta] and [Director of College Scouting] Joe Hortiz and all those guys, it’s big."
Johnson is completely accurate when he says that the Ravens are at the top of the game and learning from the best is a great way to start his career after football. With his acumen from playing 12 seasons in the NFL, Johnson should have a leg up on your standard scout when it comes to assessing players, especially since he suited up next to the best linebacker in the history of the game in Ray Lewis and one of the best safeties in Ed Reed.
Eric DeCosta seemed excited to have former players back in town to learn from him and the rest of the front office.
We want to immerse these guys because it’s about teaching them the business of scouting to see if this is something they want to pursue, career-wise, moving forward.
We’re proud of these guys. It’s great to give them an opportunity to see what we do and see if this is something they want to do the rest of their lives. They have the experience as a player and they know our organization. … They’ve earned it.
Hopefully after the internship is over, the Ravens will offer all three of the candidates some type of position within the team. All three have certainly earned the ability to judge players with the best of them.