Savage Talks Trade, Media Coverage

During a session with corporate radio partner WTAM this morning, Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage discussed the team's needs at cornerback and the coverage of Kellen Winslow's absence from OTAs. Here's what was said...

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CLEVELAND - When it comes to the NFL, it pays to be on the radio.

No, really. It pays.

WTAM pays the Cleveland Browns millions of dollars each year to be their flagship station. As part of this, Browns GM Phil Savage appears in the confines of the team's corporate radio partner every Thursday morning, including today.

Fans can find the audio of today's session by clicking this link*

During this morning's session, Savage offered some thoughts about where the team stands following the loss of CB Daven Holly and opined about the media's coverage of Kellen Winslow's absence from OTAs.

: Most importantly to Browns fans, Savage discussed the possibility of a deal for a cornerback in the wake of the injury to CB Daven Holly. The injury to the potential starter, in Savage's words, "really didn't help".

Savage said that the team would look among players who are on the street right now, or would possibly trade for a player.

As the OBR has been reporting, the Browns are not expected to make a splashy move to fill the void at cornerback.

"When I say trade, people are automatically going to think Lito Sheppard, or a player of that type... I'm talking about lower-end trades, players who might not be able to reach their potential somewhere else that we kind of liked a year or two ago in the draft... players who might have some kind of contract status or change in coaches where the player may not fit exactly what they're doing. "

"There have to be some teams out there that have an excess of corners, that have a need for a position where we might have a little excess at. So, we have to find the right team that we can maybe swing a deal with."

Savage also felt that the team could be helped by bringing in a veteran cornerback.

"If we bring in couple, two or three additional corners, you would like one of them to have experience, have the savvy on the back end to read the routes and know how to play the game. I think that will be one characteristic that we're looking for. At the same time, we're going to have a lot of young players back there, so the experience level would definitely help, but at the same time we're already going to be coaching an inexperienced group as it is.

"We have two corners we feel good about, after that it's up in the air. We usually keep five total, so we're more or less auditioning for three additional corners. Someone could emerge from the group we have".

A MILD SCOLDING FOR A MILD MEDIA: The Cleveland media is far from the aggressive, sometimes brutal, packs of journalists that hound teams in other cities. While Cleveland's beat writers look for stories of interest to their readers, they largely seem fair and willing to work with the team.

Sometimes, though, the team undoubtedly wishes they would write about things other than possible problems, such as the concern about a possible holdout by Kellen Winslow.

As with Drew Rosenhaus yesterday, Savage used a safe and direct media outlet to complain about coverage of the Winslow situation. The Rosenhaus video was first brought to the attention of fans by the OBR yesterday morning, which then started a ripple effect of similar stories on local sites.

The story was apparently also seen by members of WTAM's on-air staff, who brought it to Savage's attention.

"I wasn't surfing the web yesterday, but I heard about it", Savage said, who then poked at the media's speculation by saying "There's never been a specific time when he said he wouldn't be here, in terms of when he needed to be here for mandatory mini-camps".

"Unfortunately, I guess I get it, but it's like last year when Braylon missed the first day, and that was the day the media was (at the OTAs). There was a big deal made about it. You know, heck, Braylon ends up being a first-ballot Pro Bowler"

"Yes, this stuff is important. Yes, we're trying to put a team together. Yes, we're putting in schemes on offense and defense. If it wasn't all important we wouldn't be doing it, but at the same time, it isn't that big of a deal... it is voluntary."

Savage continued, "My point is, a lot of times we tend to focus on who's not there, and there's so many guys on our teams who do the right things, like a Sean Jones, like a Steve Heiden, Hank Fraley, Kevin Shaffer. You know, guys like that you never hear much about, and yet they're out there every day doing what they're supposed to do. 

"Unfortunately, the squeaky wheel tends to get the attention, but, in reality, we spending 90% of our time talking about 2% of our players, and then 10% of our time talking about the 98%. I guess that's just the way life works".

"There's so many other guys on our team who are doing what they're supposed to be doing, and it's a little bit unfortunate for them, because they feel like they don't get all the attention they deserve. "


* NOTE TO RADIO PEOPLE READING THIS STORY: Those words with a line under them are known as a "hyperlink". It's something we do when we get information from somewhere else. What's cool about linking is that it gives credit to the people who did the work, and also gives them some web traffic. In your world, it would be the equivalent of saying something like "According to the Orange and Brown Report, Browns cornerback Daven Holly has been injured". Theoretically.

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