Here Comes the New Guys

Getting Analytical for the Cleveland Browns

Just over two years ago, the Browns employed Joe Banner – a huge proponent of analytics. According to reports, he turned off many outsiders in the process. Now in 2016 they are going full fledged into primarily looking into numbers and analysis; this is an intriguing option by management. Who knows whether the guys brought in will be an improvement or not – but Jimmy Haslam is certainly doing things according to his plan. The way things were done in the past did not work – can this hierarchy produce?

The Browns hired Jed Hughes, a disciple of the Korn Ferry consulting firm. This has known to find some reliable football coaches in Andy Reid, Bill O’Brien, and Jim Harbaugh. I’m skeptical of this entire process and organization system, but maybe they can select a coach who can stick around for more than two years and actually win games.

Within the building, Sashi Brown has been promoted to the Vice President of Football Operations. Many are dispelling the decision of putting a lawyer from Harvard in charge of player personnel – as he’s not “a football guy”. I’m only in agreement due to the fact that the Browns have swung and missed so many times in the hiring process before. Again, this could all work out for the best – but time will tell.

The next hiring occurred with Paul DePodesta coming along as the Chief Strategy Officer. This role will be instrumental in finding the correct head coach and player personnel executive for this franchise. He is famed for being the assistant General Manager of the Oakland Athletics (and portrayed in the Movie “Money Ball”). This is definitely a unique move by Haslam, choosing a guy from a different sport. Will it pay off? Many are laughing again at the organization, but the boldness of the move might be worth it in the end.

Conclusion:  I don’t know if any of these personnel changes will work out for the Browns; I honestly doubt it since everything has gone wrong with this team since 1999. However, Haslam is thinking outside of the norm and is trying something different.  I will give him credit for this course of action, but until they start winning games consistently in the fall – I cannot get excited for offseason moves by the Cleveland Browns. If they have a perceived successful free agency period and draft, my mind could be changed.


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