The Cleveland Browns hired general manager John Dorsey last week, just hours after firing executive vice president of football operations and de facto GM Sashi Brown.
As these things go, the new guy either says some nice things about his predecessor or says nothing at all.
But even though Brown is already down, fired less than two years after he was hired by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, Dorsey gave him a swift kick on Cleveland radio Thursday, taking a swipe at current Browns players in the process.
“You know what? You’ve got to get a guy like that [coach Hue Jackson] players,” Dorsey told WKNR 850, according to cleveland.com. “And you know what? I’ll come straight out with it. The guys who were here before, that system, they didn’t get real players.”
Dorsey clearly doesn’t like the approach Brown took, but how are players like Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and Emmanuel Ogbah, players Brown drafted that would be starters or key contributors on other teams, supposed to take a comment like that?
(Brown passed on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, who could have been franchise-changing quarterbacks, and for that he deserves criticism.)
“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,” Dorsey said. “And I’m going to do my darnedest to get Hue [Jackson] players.
“And that’s all I can ask for, and that’s all I’m going to do. I like the man.”
The Browns are winless this season, on pace for just the second 0-16 record in NFL history, and won just one game last year; that is true. But trashing the guy you replaced once you’ve already gotten the job is classless at best.
Dorsey seems to like Jackson, who was Brown’s choice for head coach, saying the two are “very much” in sync on football matters. Dorsey also sat in on Jackson’s team meeting on Wednesday.
“I just wanted to listen to Hue and how he went about things, and I’ll tell you what, he does such a marvelous job trying to just kind of take those guys and express to them the urgency and the concerns,” Dorsey said. “He basically was saying, ‘Let’s make some plays, guys.’ It was very refreshing to see what he had to present to the team today.”
Haslam went out-of-the-box in promoting Brown to the head of football operations; he had been the Browns’ general counsel for three years before being given say over the roster in early January 2016. Brown’s elevation as well as the hiring of Paul DePodesta, who made his bones as a baseball executive with a passion for analytics, signaled a new approach for an NFL team.
Cleveland has changed course again less than two years later.