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Savage interview in PD

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Savage interview in PD

Unread postby jb » Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:35 am

Thoughts?

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http://www.cleveland.com/browns/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/sports/1174985062116020.xml&coll=2

BROWNS
Draft outlook remains blurry
Tuesday, March 27, 2007Tony GrossiPlain Dealer Reporter
Phoenix- Phil Savage arrived at the NFL owners meetings with a list of 16 teams with which he wanted to touch base.

Some of the talk might plant the seed of a trade on draft day. Some involved veteran players.

But apparently none of his intended discussions has to do with quarterbacks - at least, veteran ones looking for new teams

The Browns general manager flatly stated on Monday the team is not interested in adding an experienced quarterback to the roster. But he did not rule out drafting a quarterback - in later rounds, if not the first.

So you can forget about Trent Green, David Carr, Daunte Culpepper, Anthony Wright or any other veteran quarterback coming to Cleveland.

"I would say it's something we lightly considered, but probably will take a pass on," Savage said.

He admitted the Browns talked internally about making a run at former Atlanta backup quarterback Matt Schaub, but he expected the price tag to be "prohibitive." Schaub was traded to Houston last week for second-round draft picks in 2007 and 2008 and a swap of the teams' No. 8 and No. 10 places in this year's draft. The Texans then signed Schaub for $48 million over six years.

"That's a pretty substantial contract for a guy that really hasn't played a ton of football," Savage said.

All of which leaves Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson still the only competitors for the starting job in 2007. Whether the Browns decide to choose a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick, or later, may hinge on the initial stages of that competition under the auspices of new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

"I think we're content with what we're doing, to stay with the direction we're going," Savage said. "We've got six weeks of off-season conditioning and [organized] programs. Chud's putting the offense in, meeting with the quarterbacks, along with [assistant head coach] Rip Scherer. So I think we'll have a pretty good gauge of the two primary competitors, Charlie and Derek, by the time we get to the draft."

Frye may have "a leg up," as coach Romeo Crennel has termed it, but Savage talked up Anderson. The quiet backup was impressive early in relief of Frye after a wrist injury, but he did not win any of his three starts.

"I think last August, there seemed to be a pretty large gap between those two players," Savage said. "But I would say that gap has been narrowed, certainly, just because of the fact Derek got a chance."

Savage was vague in tipping his hand on whether he is homing in on LSU's JaMarcus Russell or Notre Dame's Brady Quinn with the No. 3 overall pick. In fact, his responses to questions could be interpreted various ways, contributing to the fog of the draft buildup.

Asked about a possible backlash from fans if the team passes on one of the top two quarterbacks, he said, "When you pick in the top five, you're not expecting on being up there again. Now that we're back up there this year, it changes your perspective on things to a degree."

Asked if the Browns can afford to trade up to No. 1 or No. 2, he did not say he wouldn't investigate the cost.

"I would sense it's going to be prohibitive because I think the two teams up there can ask for whatever they ask for. There's no real rules," Savage said.

Asked about rumors that Oakland may be leaning to Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson, which may push Russell within the Browns' reach, Savage replied, "I can see it happening. There are going to be those that argue he's the best player in the draft, so if you're sitting there at No. 1, I wouldn't rule it out."

What about Wisconsin left tackle Joe Thomas and Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson? Savage gave the impression - purposely, perhaps - that Peterson is higher on the Browns' radar screen.

Does Peterson's injury history concern Savage?

"I don't think so much," he replied. "I think he's a terrific talent. He's fast, he's physical. He's got acceleration. He's got burst. We've got Jamal [Lewis] on a one-year deal, so I don't think it takes us out of picking Adrian."

Could he find decent offensive linemen after the first round?

"I think there will be some linemen available that we like," Savage said. He then raised the example of the explosive San Diego Chargers, whose highest-drafted lineman was 2006 second-round pick Marcus McNeill.

"But they have a pretty good back behind those guys," Savage said, referring to LaDainian Tomlinson.

Savage did not have to add that Chudzinski was part of the San Diego coaching staff the past two seasons.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

tgrossi@plaind.com, 216-999-4670
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Unread postby furls » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:33 am

He admitted the Browns talked internally about making a run at former Atlanta backup quarterback Matt Schaub, but he expected the price tag to be "prohibitive." Schaub was traded to Houston last week for second-round draft picks in 2007 and 2008 and a swap of the teams' No. 8 and No. 10 places in this year's draft. The Texans then signed Schaub for $48 million over six years.

"That's a pretty substantial contract for a guy that really hasn't played a ton of football," Savage said.


Those are exactly why the Schaub deal has me scratching my head. That is a lot of shit to give up (money and picks) for a guy with no history.
Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

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Unread postby Guest » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:05 am

Well, since he talked up Adrian Peterson so much, it's obvious we're not going that direction.

No AP. I'm not so happy about that...
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Unread postby Birdieman » Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:03 pm

OK so:

1) No vet QB
2) No defensive guy
3) No trade up (ahem, to a certain somebody)
4) AP is still a real possibility
5) Strangely understated about CJ

But what's this mean?

Asked about a possible backlash from fans if the team passes on one of the top two quarterbacks, he said, "When you pick in the top five, you're not expecting on being up there again. Now that we're back up there this year, it changes your perspective on things to a degree."
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Unread postby rawdawgexpress » Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:14 pm

I really appreciate how Savage operates. I'm a big fan. Fact is, another losing season and people will no longer be "pissed" but just stop caring about the Browns. Alot have already jumped ship. We have Randyjams talking about the possibility of selling the team with news reporters, etc. This is the story no-one is talking about.

But although he's in a desperate situation I just get the feeling Savage is a cool customer. I like the free agents contracts so far and I like his draft approach. History has shown he was correct about dumping the crap "Browncos" and much of the rest of the Browns "D" when he got here. Writing down Ngata's name on the draft card and "accidentally" showing Ratty is pretty fucking awesome. He may be desperate but he never shows it. I'm confident he'll take the best player available that suits the Browns needs.

So yes, I'm a big Savage fan, but if we start out the season with Frye as starting QB I'll start to wonder.
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Unread postby HoodooMan » Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:03 pm

Thoughts?

I think the piece would have been worth a heck of a lot more if the quotes to summary ratio was a bit higher.
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