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Savage decision delayed


The media was afforded a more relaxed interview session with new Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio at a breakfast meeting this morning, but an expected invitee was suspiciously absent.

Phil Savage, the Baltimore Ravens' director of college scouting, was expected to be presented as the Jaguars' new personnel boss this morning, but Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver told reporters he needed more time to consider his decision.

"At this moment, Phil is the leading candidate, but we have not offered him the job, yet. I like Phil. I think he wants the job. I just want to spend some more time in my own mind that this is the right decision," Weaver said.

Weaver confirmed that Savage is in Jacksonville and that the two would meet following the breakfast session, and that a decision on Savage could be announced later today.

Meanwhile, day two of the "new era" in Jaguars football began with considerably less celebration than the pep rally that announced Del Rio's hiring Friday evening, but Weaver and Del Rio remained as enthusiastic and energetic as they were 15 hours earlier.

"The fact that Jack played the game at a high level; I think that's important. It gives him instant credibility in the locker room," Weaver said when asked to re-state his reasons for having hired Del Rio to succeed Tom Coughlin as the second coach in Jaguars history.

"We've had a wall between the football side and the administrative side. We've got to tear out that wall. We need (the football side) to know we need their support in our marketing efforts. But primarily I believe Jack can come in here and build a winning football team. It's all about winning," Weaver added.

Del Rio, flanked by his wife Linda, was bright-eyed for the breakfast meeting, though he claimed not to have slept since the Jaguars first expressed interest in him this past Monday.

"I was pretty excited to see that reception. I really can't wait until the fall," Del Rio said.

The new coach remained guarded in his projections for his rookie season, but he refused to speak of the current roster as a re-construction about to begin.

"There's a very small difference in the talent levels of the good teams and the bad teams. You want to find a couple of key guys to add to the existing talent. Just because we were 6-10 last year doesn't mean all of our talent is bad," Del Rio said. He added that he had "preliminary thoughts" about the current roster but wasn't ready to share those thoughts with the media.

Weaver provided the most telling comments this morning. He spoke of the Jaguars' new operating philosophy and his expectations for its function.

"I don't see it as ultimate authority," Weaver said when asked about the Jaguars' new decision-by-committee philosophy of operation, which will demand agreement between Del Rio, the new personnel man, salary cap boss Paul Vance and Weaver on personnel matters such as free agency and the draft. "I see it as people making their case. I don't think those are hard decisions to make."

Weaver said he will speak loudest on those matters that involve the signing or drafting of players who present character issues. "If I had done my job as well as I should've, we would've never drafted R.J. Soward," Weaver said.

"The way we're doing things is different. It's a whole new era," Weaver added.

Will that new era include Savage? will update this story when the team is able to provide that answer.

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