It likely depends upon your perspective whether you consider yesterday’s comments from new Cleveland Browns general manager Jon Dorsey as a good sign or bad for the future of the organization. Taking over the reins of a team that has gone just 1-27 over the course of the past two seasons under the banner of Sashi Brown, Dorsey made comments disparaging his predecessor’s work. They lost game number 28 on Sunday.
During an interview for a radio station yesterday, he said that the team has got to get its head coach, Hue Jackson, some football players. “I’ll come straight out with it”, he said. “The guys who were here, the system, they didn’t get real players”.
While the comment was not overly direct, I think it would take some semantic wrangling not to see it as a direct reference to the ‘Moneyball’ philosophy employed chiefly by Brown. But he was not the only member of the organization employed in such thinking.
And, whoops, would you look at that, one of them is still there. Dorsey’s remarks yesterday would not appear to be a good sign for the future employment of the Browns’ ‘Chief Strategy Officer’, Paul DePodesta, who helped spearhead the concept of Moneyball in baseball, now trying to adapt it for the gridiron.
Jackson and Dorsey do not come from that school. And given the failures of the past two seasons, one can certainly gather quite easily that the hangers-on to the Moneyball philosophy in the Browns organization will have their status with the team re-evaluated in the offseason, DePodesta chief among them.
“As Bill Parcells would always say, ‘you are your record’ and you know what? There it is, so that’s the truth-teller in this thing”, he said. “And I’m going to do my darnedest to get Hue players”. Like Myles Garrett, I suppose. Though it’s pretty easy when you have the first pick in the draft.
Yet, as he defended the head coach and the fact that his lack of success was primarily tied to having a lack of talent to work with—he also said that his top priority was finding a quarterback, taking a shot at their second-round rookie DeShone Kizer—he didn’t exactly guarantee Jackson will be back in 2018 when given the platform to do so in the interview.
For his part, Jackson has seemed to welcome the change, saying that he appreciates Dorsey’s enthusiasm for building now to win. He also described the experience of reviewing game tape as (presumably positively) different than with his former Moneyball counterpart.
How do the players feel? Well, at least running back Isaiah Crowell took no issue with his new general manager’s remarks. “I don’t feel like he said anything wrong”, he said. “I feel like he said the truth”.
Then again, a 1-28 record does speak for itself.