Savage Speaks

The Browns General Manager met with the press and offered his thoughts on a variety of subjects. Fred Greetham was there and offers a report on Savage's remarks, as well as an update on Leigh Bodden's status...

BEREA - Phil Savage wanted to meet with the media from time to time and update the status of the team. He had more than enough to talk about as he met with the media on Friday.

Among the topics he discussed were the resignation of Maurice Carthon. Savage confirmed that Carthon did resign on his own volition.

Savage: As GM I thought this was a coaching matter all the way through. I think you have to let the coaching things play out. Romeo and I talk every day. Some of our talks are private and I respect his position to know his staff. Speaking directly to what happened on Monday night, Romeo came to me in the locker room and said  Maurice is resigning and I'm thinking about making Jeff Davidson call the plays, are you alright with that?

As I said, you have to make judgments to let your people do their jobs. There were a lot of things talked about.

On Romeo:  Coaches are in a high risk business. They know it's not a life-long contract. If he's going to get blown out of here, you have to let him get blown out of here on his own. Romeo and my relationship has stayed strong. He's a good man. He's a good coach. We're trying to build a program and it takes time.

Romeo is our coach. We picked him. I haven't made one move on this roster without him and I talking. He and I are in this thing together. I have too much respect for him as a man and a leader. It's a team effort. It's just not one guy.

On Randy Lerner's role: We are 1-5 and are obviously disappointed with that.

The one person who is not at fault is our owner, Randy Lerner, yet he tends to take the same shots the rest of us take. We appreciate the support he's given us.

How is your relationship with Lerner?: Randy and I have a far stronger relationship than it was at any point last year. I think he sees things are certainly more stable. I think Randy is secure in knowing we are doing a solid job of bringing players in here. We have planted some seeds and the problem with the Browns since 1999 is every time seeds get planted they all get washed away.

On turning the Browns around: None of us thought this would be easy. We're trying to change the hearts and minds of our fans. It's hard because every time one of these set backs occur, it goes back to the 1995, ‘Here we go again'. It's going to be tough, until it isn't. There are going to be a lot of twisting, winding roads until we get there.

What's the team's mindset?: We're 1-5, but in some ways we're hitting the re-set button. We're starting with a fresh start. Based on the last couple of practices, there are signs of life. However, this is a team that seems to practice well, but doesn't play as well on Sundays.

We've got 10 games left and I think this is a key time in what we're trying to do to develop the team. Let's play the best 600 minutes of football this place has seen since 1999.

How is Charlie Frye doing?: We're said we're going to try to promote Charlie Frye, protect him and preserve him. I think we've done one of the three things, we've promoted him. I'm hopeful that we can get more cohesion and do the other two things.

Do you think the Browns are better than 1-5?: Our record doesn't necessary reflect what kind of team we have. We have to give our fans something to cheer about. Don't give up on the Cleveland Browns yet. Our players need their support.

We're backed into a corner at 1-5. I think we're going to get something going. We have too many good people here for this thing to spiral out of control.

I understand the fans reactions, but at the same time there is a reality to all of this. I think there has been progress beneath the surface that hasn't come out of the ground yet. At some point, it will turn around.

On Ryan Tucker:  It's an undisclosed illness and until there's something that comes from the doctors, there's nothing more to say. There are privacy concerns.

On Gary Baxter: He had the double patellar tear and will be immobilized for six to eight weeks. It's going to be awhile before we know where he's at. It's going to be a long, rough road, but can be a real inspirational story. There's been a lot of medical upgrades since the Wendall Davis 13 years ago. It's heartbreaking, but that's life in the NFL.

On LeCharles Bentley:  He had successful surgery the last week in July. About four weeks ago, he had an infection that was cleaned out and he was in the clinic for an extended period of time. He's since been released and his rehab is doing well. We'll know more in February, but we're cautiously optimistic, but don't think the staph infection will be a huge setback.


Bodden Update: CB Leigh Bodden said he practiced Thursday and is hopeful he can return to the field against the Jets.

"I'm not saying anything because I thought I was going to be able to go the last couple weeks," he said. "I can feel the difference from last week and it is getting better."

Bodden confirmed he suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain.

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