Browns GM Andrew Berry strong candidate for NFL Executive of the Year

• The defense has improved 10-fold

• There is finally a kicker in Cleveland

• The Browns have won with four different quarterbacks

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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The Cleveland Browns secured a winning season for the second time in four years under head coach Kevin Stefanski after defeating the Chicago Bears 20-17 in Week 15. While the head coach and his players deserve all the praise, another man also deserves a piece of that praise. That man is Andrew Berry who was responsible for making all the moves to put this team at 9-5.

Berry should be a strong candidate for Executive of the Year for all of the moves he made this offseason and even during the season. The Browns have been losing players left and right to injured reserves much like the Who's of Whoville lose presents to the Grinch. Berry went out and added key veterans who have all made some sort of impact this season.

The overhaul of the defense has paid dividends

Last season, the defense was just not good enough to win football games and that side of the ball needed the most attention in the offseason. Berry went out and did a complete overhaul of the defense and that started by hiring Jim Schwartz as the new defensive coordinator. This move is arguably the best offseason signing league-wide as this unit is playing some damn good football, especially at home.

Berry and the Browns went out and spent money on the defensive side of the ball with the additions of Dalvin Tomlinson, Shelby Harris, Ogbo Okoronkwo, Za'Darius Smith, Maurice Hurst to shore up the defensive line and safeties Rodney McLeod and Juan Thornhill. While some of those players have been plagued with injuries, they all contributed when on the field.

With all of these new additions and the hiring of Schwartz, Myles Garrett has been unlocked to a whole different level. While he doesn't always record sacks, he's constantly pressuring the opposing quarterbacks. He has single-handedly taken over games and made his presence known, despite being held at an absurd rate with no laundry on the field. He's at the top of the leaderboard in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and has a real shot at finally checking that off his list.

The secondary is the best in football, allowing 158.9 yards per game through the air. The trio of Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson Jr., and Greg Newsome II have been locking down on the shores of Lake Erie. Emerson and Newsome are both playing some of the best football of their young careers and Ward has proven he is still an upper echelon corner in the league.