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No love in their X's and O's

Page 3 of 4 -- On whether he's said good-bye to Tom Brady: "I'll never say good-bye to Tom. He's a lifelong friend, someone I'll always keep in touch with. I think right now he's gallivanting all over the world and attending the Oscars and stuff like that and maybe he's big-timing me, but I'm sure we'll be talking."

On being considered the coach who developed Brady: "I'll lay claim to part of that, but there were other people. Bill had a part. [Former quarterback coach] Dick Rehbein had a part. Scott Pioli had a part in bringing him here. Tom deserves the biggest part."

To remind himself where he needs to get to as a college coach, Weis said, he asked Patriots special teams coach Brad Seely for Pete Carroll's telephone number.

"I left Pete a message just to say that he's set the bar very high for college football coaches," Weis said. "What he's done for that program with the recruiting and the coaching and the talent he's developed is unparalleled. There's Pete Carroll and then there's everybody else. I just wanted him to know how I felt about the work he's done there."

The Belichick of college football?

"How could you argue against that?" Weis said.

Savage can salvage Browns' operation

Observers have been very impressed with the rebuilding job done by Browns general manager Phil Savage. Team president and CEO John Collins did due diligence in coming up with the right man. He certainly considered Ozzie Newsome, Savage's mentor in Baltimore, and New England's Scott Pioli, but in the end, he might be very pleased with Savage. "He'll build that team through the draft, and when you examine his work in that area, he's been the best," said an AFC executive. "He did A-plus work for the Ravens, helped them build talent to win a Super Bowl and has also done a great job retooling for the Ravens once they had cap issues.

"He's already made a lot of moves to suit his head coach [Romeo Crennel]. What will be interesting is how he does with free agency. But I don't think free agency is going to be as big for Phil as the draft, knowing if he doesn't improve the young talent base, it'll delay the Browns' ascension." Savage said at the Scouting Combine last week, "I think you're barking up the wrong tree if you try to build through free agency. I think the draft will end up being the lifeblood of the Browns as we go forward."

Etc.

Parting words

Roman Phifer's release from the Patriots was the result, at least in part, of a failed physical. He said he had shoulder surgery, which will require some fairly significant rehab time. But he has only good memories of the Patriots.   Continued...

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