It’s not exactly a big secret that the days after the NFL regular season spell a time when both coaches and general managers often get shown the door. Likewise, those spots are then filled by a variety of individuals, from the shocking hires to the up-and-coming stars, to the veterans looking to make it work somewhere else on their next try. But the Browns are going in a direction few NFL teams have fully embraced before.
After naming Sashi Brown the team’s new Executive VP of Football Operations, we knew change would come. Brown was known already in circles as someone who valued and focused on the analytical side of things and was fond of advanced metrics. Now we know just how seriously the Browns ownership has embraced such ideals. Today the Browns also hired former MLB general manager Paul DePodesta as their new “Chief Strategy Officer.” If the name sounds familiar it’s because you’ve probably heard about DePodesta from the book (or, let’s be honest, the movie) Moneyball.
DePodesta brings not only an entirely new skillset to the Browns front office, he also brings an entirely fresh set of eyes to the NFL. Will that benefit the Browns? Obviously we won’t know for at least a little while. But, hey, after two decades of downright bad football, it really can’t get much worse, right? So I say kudos to the Browns for truly thinking not just outside of the box, but outside the sport altogether.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m guessing that Johnny Manziel’s attributes, both on and off-the-field, probably don’t fit the mold of what Brown and DePodesta will be analyzing when it comes to the Browns. But then again, who knows, stranger things have happened…like hiring a baseball guy to turn around your NFL franchise.