Cleveland Browns execs talk analytics, quarterbacks
BEREA, Ohio– It’s been a busy three weeks for the Cleveland Browns.
Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown and Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta held a news conference Thursday afternoon. They talked about the team’s quarterback situation, the new head coach and DePodesta’s background in analytics.
DePodesta spent time in the front offices of the Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics and New York Mets, and is part of the inspiration behind the movie “Moneyball.”
“For me, it’s not just about numbers or algorithms; it’s about a mindset,” DePodesta said. “I’m not really here to be an analytics guy.” He said it’s about transforming this organization into a championship franchise.
Brown and DePodesta agreed a quarterback is key to a winning team. Both execs said they are still assessing whether the man for the job is already in the locker room, or if they’ll find him in the NFL Draft or free agency.
“We need a guy who can be here for a number of years,” Brown said. “We’re happy to have Josh (McCown) in the building and obviously, Johnny (Manziel) on the roster.”
But when asked about how the team plans to handle Manziel, Brown said they need to be clear on expectations.
“How much can we do? Johnny is individual, he’s a man,” Brown said. “I think it’s important he understands perfectly the situation he is in.”
Brown said he met with Cleveland offensive lineman Joe Thomas just days after the season ended.
“He’s a great asset to our organization on and off the field,” Brown said. “Joe is like us, very competitive. His questions for us were largely about how we’re going to win.”
Last week, the Browns announced Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson as the team’s new head coach.