Jaguars job might finally be right fit, but Ravens' Savage can only sit, wait

January 15, 2003|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Phil Savage withdrew his name from consideration for two personnel jobs in 2001 because neither was the right fit.

Now, after interviewing for the Jacksonville Jaguars' vacant general manager/personnel position, the Ravens' director of college scouting feels that he is on the right path.

"It's attractive for me because I can get on I-10 and be there in five hours," Savage said yesterday from his home in Mobile, Ala. "It would be a dream come true if it plays out right."

Jacksonville also has interviewed Ravens pro personnel director James Harris, Buffalo Bills director of football operations Tom Modrak and the Jaguars' director of player personnel Rick Reiprish. A Jaguars spokesman indicated that the team could decide this week.

Savage, 37, has been a hot commodity over the past few years and was a finalist for front office positions with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears two years ago before pulling his name out of the running.

In seven drafts with Savage as director of college scouting, the Ravens have selected seven Pro Bowl players. Half of the starters on the Ravens' Super Bowl championship team were drafted by the team.

The Jaguars' coaching search - which includes University of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio - also could be playing in Savage's favor. Savage has ties with Ferentz that date back to the Cleveland Browns and has worked with Del Rio, the Ravens' linebackers coach from a year ago.

"From a personnel standpoint, they're looking for a system in which the coach and the head of personnel will work together," Savage said. "I feel I can work with most anybody."

The Seattle Seahawks, who are searching for a general manager, also have been granted permission to speak to both Savage and Harris.

If the Ravens lose Savage or Harris, they probably will hire replacements from within the organization.

The likely successor to Harris would be George Kokinis, the assistant director of pro personnel. The next in line for Savage's job is not as clear. One of the top candidates would be Eric DeCosta, the team's Midwest scout.

"It's a good situation to be interviewed," Harris said. "But I know if nothing happens, I have a good situation to come back to. We have an opportunity to do some things here in Baltimore."

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