Brain Chained

By: Marc Lawrence | Sunday, February 2, 2020

The dysfunctional Cleveland Browns finally showed signs of life when they hired Andrew Berry, Eagles VP of Football Operations, as the new General Manager. In an ideal world, the new general manager would have spent January meeting with various departments and going over evaluations those already in place had made.

In most organizations, the GM would also have had at least some input/voice in the building of the coaching staff and the structure of things. But this is the Cleveland Browns were talking about, whose owner Jimmy Haslam never even interviewed Ray Farmer when he promoted him to GM in 2014.

Berry served as a vice president of player personnel with the Browns from 2016-18 and at 32 is the youngest general manager in the NFL. He became a favorite of owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam when he worked for the Browns the first time, and they didn't want him to leave last year when he accepted his former position with the Eagles. Chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and Berry backed Kevin Stefanski's head coaching bid last year when Freddie Kitchens was appointed the job instead of by recently fired GM John Dorsey.

So now the Browns are hopeful an Ivy League trio of Harvard University graduates DePodesta and Berry and University of Pennsylvania graduate Stefanski, hired Jan. 12 as Kitchens successor, will give them the cohesion that has eluded a franchise plagued by power struggles and infighting since the Haslams purchased it in 2012.

Let it be known that I have socks that are older than Berry, to which I have three words to say: Where's Ozzie Newsome?

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