BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns have returned to the days of hardcore football scouting and analysis.
The hiring of John Dorsey to be the team’s general manager brings in a longtime scout and former GM to run the organization. How and if analytics -- espoused by predecessor Sashi Brown -- fit will be determined, but a guy who spent much of his career as a scout figures to spend his future relying on scouting.
Dorsey, 57, is considered at his best in evaluating talent. He would work closely with head coach Hue Jackson, who said he does not need or want final say over personnel because it’s too much to both coach and have those duties. But Jackson said what’s most important is that he and the GM work “in concert.”
The hiring of Dorsey will give Jackson clearer input into the kind of players he needs to make his system work. Brown, who was fired as executive vice president Thursday, worked more with a long-term vision, and Jackson had to carry the weight of a 1-27 record on his résumé while coaching a less than stocked roster.
Dorsey and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid worked closely in Kansas City, joining the team as general manager in 2013 until Dorsey’s contract was not renewed in a surprising decision in June. The Chiefs went 43-21 during his tenure; when he was not renewed, there was speculation about his management style and skills.
Dorsey was one of the main names on the market when it comes to experienced candidates. He is liked and respected throughout the league and would bring credibility to a winless team.
Dorsey was raised in football, going from a player to a scout to join Mike Holmgren in Seattle in 1999 as director of player personnel. In 2000, he returned to the Packers as director of college scouting. As a player, he set the Packers' record for special-teams tackles in 1984.
Dorsey also traded up in last year’s draft to take quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and early in his tenure acquired Alex Smith. He clearly understands the importance of the position.
Dorsey will benefit greatly from the groundwork laid by Brown. His long-term vision included maintaining salary-cap room while depending on the draft.
This offseason, the Browns will have up to $100 million in cap space and five picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 draft.