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Senior bowl head man still hands-on in scouting

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012

Savage rose up the ranks with the Ravens under general manager and ex-Alabama and NFL star Ozzie Newsome before taking the GM job in Cleveland from 2005 until 2008, when he and coach Romeo Crennel were fired. Savage spent the last couple of years working with the Philadelphia Eagles in player personnel before taking over the Senior Bowl, a January showcase for senior NFL prospects.

"It's a great marriage where they have someone with such tremendous roots in scouting and the Mobile community," Eagles GM Howie Roseman said. "From an NFL perspective, and certainly from a Philadelphia Eagles perspective, it's a great thing."

The Senior Bowl is already an event that draws many of the NFL's head coaches and general managers for a few days of practice.

Newsome likes having someone leading the Senior Bowl "that walked in my shoes."

"He understands what the Senior Bowl means to that city and to the people of Mobile," he said. "He's coached in the game. He's scouted the game when he was a scout with us and when he was GM in Cleveland. He's seen every aspect of it other than just being a player in the game. He has a very good understanding of the game, the importance of the game, to the city of Mobile, to the players playing in it and also to all of us who have to come down there and evaluate it.

"He understands the needs of everyone."

Savage's reports are admittedly kinder and gentler since he's only investing time not millions of dollars. On a recent week, he visited Miami, Ohio Monday, Ohio State Tuesday and Marshall Wednesday.

He has managed to merge two popular sports, college and pro football, not to mention the NFL draft.

"When you think about the merging of the two, you're talking about the two most popular sports in America basically, merging at the Senior Bowl because we are a bridge from college to pro," Savage said. "That's exciting to me to even be part of that."