Savage interviews for Dolphins' GM job

Ravens personnel director calls meeting `productive'

January 07, 2004|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Phil Savage gave a favorable scouting report after interviewing for the Miami Dolphins' general manager position yesterday.

Savage, the Ravens' director of player personnel, is the fourth candidate to meet with Dolphins officials about the newly created position. A decision is not expected to be made until next week at the earliest.

"I've told Ozzie [Newsome, Ravens general manager] and said over the years, `I'm not going to chase every car that passes,' " Savage said before boarding a flight to go to the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco. "This was certainly an opportunity. In talking to them today, it was definitely worth talking to them about. I felt like it was productive."

This may be the most enticing position for Savage, who turned down high-ranking executive positions in Jacksonville and Philadelphia in recent years. Dolphins officials inferred Monday that the general manager would have the power to hire and fire the team's head coach.

Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga stripped coach Dave Wannstedt of his authority over personnel decisions last week after the team failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year.

Savage talked with Dolphins officials - including Huizenga - for nearly three hours, detailing how the Ravens handle their year-round scouting and personnel matters.

Former New Orleans Saints general manager Randy Mueller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers interim GM Tim Ruskell and Dolphins executive Rick Spielman had interviewed earlier.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that New York Giants director of player personnel Jerry Reese is scheduled to interview Friday and that the Dolphins have requested permission to interview Bobby Grier, assistant director of pro scouting with the Houston Texans.

"We have great detail on all of these candidates to compare them," Dolphins president Eddie Jones told reporters in Miami. "We have a lot to go on. It's going to come down to a feel - who's going to come in here and do what we want done and work with the coach. All of them have had the theme [that] it's got to be a partnership."

Savage, 38, has been a hot commodity over the past few years because of his shrewd evaluation of college talent. He nearly became the top personnel executive with the Jaguars last year before contract talks broke down.

In seven drafts with Savage as director of college scouting, the Ravens selected a remarkable nine Pro Bowl players. Last year, he was promoted to his current position, which involved him more in pro scouting as well as the day-to-day operations of the team.

"I think it's obvious that it's been a classy organization for a long time and they have won a lot of games," Savage said of the Dolphins. "They treated me well. But it's kind of up in the air for probably another week now."

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