2. Berry and Stefanski’s leadership
John Dorsey deserves a lot of credit for helping turn the Browns franchise around but he still wasn’t the one who turned them into winners. Dorsey, who was forced to work with Hue Jackson in 2018, deserves a pass for that season. But he then whiffed in 2019 when hiring Jackson’s replacement.
Dorsey took a chance on Freddie Kitchens despite some in the building — such as chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta — wanting Kevin Stefanski who was the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings at the time. Kitchens was woefully unprepared to be a head coach and things were rough in 2019. After a 6-10 finish, he was out as was Dorsey.
It wasn’t easy to watch the franchise once again clean house and the fear that they could be heading in the wrong direction was in the air. But then the Browns decided to let the smartest people in the room make the decisions and they hired Stefanski and then followed that up with the selection of Andrew Berry as the general manager.
There was a risk with each of these moves since Stefanski had no head coaching experience and Berry was now the youngest GM in league history. It didn’t take long to realize that this time, the gamble paid off.
Berry proved to be shrewd in free agency and smart in the draft. He filled out the roster and Stefanski led them to 11 wins while winning the Coach of the Year Award. They put together yet another great offseason in 2021 which included landing Jadeveon Clowney, John Johnson, Greg Newsom, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and many more talented players.
It feels great to say that Cleveland is in excellent hands and that’s something all fans should celebrate on this holiday.