The Latest from Ask the Insiders

In the wake of yesterday's hiring of Phil Savage as the new GM, a flood of questions have hit the Ask the Insiders forum. Tony Pauline talked about Savage's approach to the draft, and the gang took on all the questions this afternoon. Here are some highlights!


Tony, as a guy who follows the draft every day of the year, how would you characterize Phil Savage's drafting "style" or the characteristics he brings to the draft?

Tony Pauline: The first tendency you see in Savage's drafts is to select great athletes and prospects with classic size/speed numbers. From Jonathan Ogden in 1996 to Devard Darling last April, most of the players brought in during the Savage era in Baltimore are those that come away with eye-popping numbers from the combine or individual workouts.

The defensive secondary has always been one of his strengths as Savage has plucked All Pro's Ed Reed and Chris McAllister from the college ranks and let's not forget, Duane Starks was a very good cornerback in Baltimore

Finally if there were one word to characterize the draft's Savage has been a part of in Baltimore it would be value. Whether it's Terrell Suggs with the tenth overall pick of the draft or Ray Lewis in the 26th slot. Whether Edgerton Hartwell in round four or Chester Taylor in the sixth frame, the second tendency is to grab the highly rated player that has somehow fallen through the cracks in the draft

Saguaro Dawg: Nolan did not work for or directly with Savage. They were both Raven employees in different 'departments.' One in personnel/scouting, the other in coaching. To assume Savage as some loyalty to Nolan seems to be a big reach. If Dick Cheney can claim never to have met John Edwards in the US Senate, without more info, Savage and Nolan may have had a very limited relationship. Plus, the Ravens defensive performance at the end of the year bothers me.

Barry McBride: At this point, I think it's more than an assumption, otherwise you would probably see Jim Fassel's name more than we have. There are indications out of Baltimore that Savage is interested in Nolan.

It will be interesting to see if the question comes up in today's news conference.

Lane Adkins: Nolan is a candidate and I would not assume him to be a front runner at this time. There is a sentiment that getting a quality defensive coordinator is easier than securing the talents of an outstanding offensive mind.

All being equal, the best candidate should get the position, and right now this is an organization which has struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball.

Engedi: Lane - would you say that that was because of Robiskies schemes or Butch's influence and game day decisions? I guess I'm trying to see through the fog and make a more accurate assessment of Robo's worth as an OC. If he doesn't get the the HC position, do we keep him? Thanks for the job you're doing by the way!

Lane Adkins: Robiskie knows the game and is a good WR's coach. We never had the opportunity to see what he could do in the OC position here. I place much of the lack of productivity on issues Davis created.

Imadawg4life: Insiders, Let me say first that I am very pleased with signing Savage. Our team improved today...with that said, I read an article on the official site about Ozzie prefering to stay in BMore instead of taking the front office job in Cleveland. In fact Bisciotti stated he would have given Oz permission to interview if the Browns asked. I thought his heart was with the Browns (may very well still be) but what gives? Was this just a public relations ploy to apease the Ratbird fans or did he really not want the job?

Barry McBride: There were mixed signals from Newsome throughout the entire process. I think that you're correct in saying that Cleveland would have been a sentimental choice for Newsome, but he would have required more money or some other inticements to come here since it was a lateral move. He has a good situation in Baltimore, and does owe that organization for giving him his current opportunity. It would not have been a slam dunk.

Since he couldn't get permission from Bisciotti, it's a moot point, but since we never got Newsome to the bargaining table, we simply won't know.

On a slightly different topic, those of you out there who are fathers and husbands know that moving to a different city isn't just a matter of weighing the career opportunities... uprooting one's family or long-distance community are both difficult things to go through. I moved a bunch as a kid, and have had no desire to move my family as a Dad. This aspect never gets mentioned a lot in the press or in discussion, but has to be a factor for anyone with a family... even pro football guys, who have to be nomadic by nature. If everything is equal, not having to move your family would keep you where you are.

Lane Adkins: Wanting the position and feeling comfortable with the opportunity are a couple issues with Newsome.

If Newsome were to had the "true" opportunity to lead the Browns organization, there would have been numerous issues and obstacles for him to overcome.

Both professionally and personally, Newsome would have faced the challenge of not only building an organization, but having to deal with associations from the past seeking something from him or the organization.

I would have liked to seen Newsome return, but in reality, we got the highly touted guy that has been in the middle of the fires with Newsome, in Savage.

This guy knows talent and communicates well, we should see an improvement on the field in short order.

Redright: Phil Savage is reported far and wide as a great evaluator of college talent and is a drafting genius. A football team is impacted as much as its selections in free agency and developing existing talent. What can you tell us that will give us cofidence in his ability to secure talented free agents, develop existing talent and get this group of players we know as the Browns to work together as a team?

Lane Adkins: Considering he knows talent, has seen these players, evaluating many or must of them himself, he would have to have an impression on them and what they could provide a team such as the Browns.

Savage is a guy that would rather develop talent the organization brings in. FA has a role in building or filling in the pieces, but the draft and undrafted signings are the means to build a roster.

Being said, I see this organization building through these avenues and if this team is deemed to be close or need a few component parts to be competitive or better, they will seek that in FA.

Cavsfan70: Will Childress get a second interview since Savage was not privvy or able to sit in on the first one or will Savage go on first hand experience and Randy and John's impressions?

Lane Adkins: I would safely assume that Savage will talk with Childress.

Just an FYI................Savage likes Childress and has been noted through the Ravens organization that the Philadelphia offense was a tough one for their defense to prepare for.

Childress is creative or should I say not as conservative as Head Coach Andy Reid who handles the play-calling on game-day.

MattMP: If the Ravens won't let Savage hire any of their scouts before the draft, what are the options? I got the impression that after Butch got through with the scouting department not many people were left besides Pete Garcia. Would a guy like Mueller be interested in serving as a scout or consultant? Could the former employees be rehired to at least fill the empty chairs?

Lane Adkins: Savage's hands are close to tied in regards to luring people from the Ravens organization to Cleveland.

You can bet there will be a couple/few additions when their contracts expire.

The Browns still will scout and Savage will be out there as well. There are numerous scouts not employed by specific teams that can be utilized.

Hell, I may hit the trail for the sake of the team :-)

PhotoCityDawg: The Fox article mentions that the Browns are looking for a salary cap expert to team with Savage. Is there any chance that guy could be Lal Henegan?

Barry McBride: It's possible, in particular because Heneghan liked being in Cleveland (based on what we know), and was still popular in the organization when he got the boot. I'd like to see him return and right a wrong from last year.

I wouldn't overlook Mike Reinhardt, late of Seattle, for a role like that as well.

SharkDawg: Lane, Is there any word from Henegan's agent on whether or not he would consider coming back here?

Lane Adkins: I don't see Heneghen returning. At this time, it appears Trip Mc will be handling much of not most/all of the salary cap issues for the organization.

Mojo1011: How does this work? If we want a guy like Grimm as head coach, do we have to wait until his season is over before he commits? If that is the case that we might as well count him and possibly childress out right?

Barry McBride: Yes, he could not go to work for us until his team is out of the playoffs.

Whether the Browns consider that critical is hard to say.. all things being equal, they would probably want to lock in a head coach sooner rather than later.

If they considered it a show-stopper, however, they wouldn't be interviewing Crennel, Childress, Donatell, and Grimm. All are in the playoffs, but represent the only four committed interviews (other than Robiskie) that the team has to date.

Saguaro Dawg: Clarification, please... could Cleve hire Grimm, Crennell, et al, now, with the understanding that he would not assume the position until after elimination in the playoffs? What about handshake, wink, under the table deals? Possible sanctions from league office?

Lane Adkins: There couldn't be am official hire of a coach or personnel whose team is still active in the playoffs. Beside the "official" capacity.......people talk.

Shookdawg: Do you think Campo is gone no matter what as DC?

Lane Adkins: I believe the odds are not in his favor to return, but until the dust settles we won't know for certain. I tend to believe this organization may welcome a more aggressive approach.


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