The Cleveland Browns GM search is now complete. The Browns have named Andrew Berry, Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager. Berry became the 10th GM hire since the Browns returned in 1999. The five-year deal makes the 32-year-old the youngest GM in NFL history.
Berry is beginning his second stint with the Browns. In 2016 he was hired by then-Vice President of Football Operations, Sashi Brown. He left the Browns in 2018 to become the Eagles Vice President of Football Operations. Berry initially got his start with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009. He helped the Colts Regime get to the playoffs five times, and also to Super Bowl XLIV. Former Colts Executive and HOFer Bill Polian said in 2016, “Andrew Berry is one of the brightest young men we have ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Now formed, is the leadership alignment that Jimmy Haslam has been wanting. Paul DePodesta (Harvard), Andrew Berry (Harvard), and Kevin Stefanski (UPenn), all Ivy Leaguers, make up a brilliant chain of command. Both DePodesta and Berry played college football at Harvard, where Berry was a four-year starter at cornerback.
The newly hired Browns GM won’t have much time to sit back and celebrate his new position. The NFL Scouting Combine, Free Agency and the NFL Draft are right around the corner. Berry will have to start by going through the current Browns roster to establish where the most pressing needs are, and how they will address them.
If roster needs aren’t enough, the last pieces of the coaching staff still have to be met. Stefanski and Berry will collaborate to fill the OC and DC coaching vacancies. Widely reported is that the Browns have their eye on San Francisco 49ers Defensive Backs Coach Joe Woods as a potential hire for DC. Woods is now preparing for Super Bowl LIV, and if interested, could interview as early as next week. The OC position is not as clear. A couple of names to look out for are Mike McDaniel (49ers), Mike LaFleur (49ers), and recently interviewed Ben McAdoo (Former Giants HC).
One silver lining in the Browns Regime change is that the roster has plenty of talent. The new Browns staff has to bring discipline, leadership, and the command of respect from the players. It is paramount that the players buy into the vision, and also execute the weekly gameplans. These qualities were lacking last year, and the results showed.
Lastly, and probably most importantly. Jimmy, let’s be patient on this one. We as fans beg of you.