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 Browns have won with four different starting quarterbacks

Heading into the season, the Browns thought they had their franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson fully healthy and ready for a fresh start. Well, they did have that only for that dream scenario to last six games before Watson was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.

Cleveland threw rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson to the wolves, err, the Ravens in Week 4 by announcing the move two-and-a-half hours before kickoff. The rook stood no chance against a stout Baltimore defense and that was enough for Stefanski to switch to P.J. Walker.

Walker helped lead the team to two victories, including two game-winning drives, but ultimately proved why he has been a journeyman backup in the league. Watson was available briefly prior to the injury, and then it was back to DTR. The kid played well and seemed to be getting his feet under him, but then he suffered a concussion.

Now, the Browns are relying on 38-year old former nemesis Joe Flacco to guide the ship - hopefully to a ship - and so far, it's been pretty, pretty, pretty good. Flacco, who was watching football with his family on the couch, got the call and signed with the Browns practice squad. After the normal stints on the practice squad, Cleveland signed Flacco to a deal through the remainder of the season that is laden with financial incentives.

Stop me if you've heard this before; the Browns starting quarterback would have been limited in practice should the team practiced on Wednesday, which they did not. Flacco was listed with a calf injury, so of course that will be something to watch this week.

While the quarterbacks have done just enough in most games, and Flacco exceeding that with back-to-back 300-plus yard games in consecutive victories, that hasn't stopped wide receiver Amari Cooper showing why he's WR1. Cooper is 15 yards away from being the first Browns' player in franchise history to have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Also, the play of David Njoku, especially over the last two weeks, has propelled this offense and given Flacco a true No. 2 target.

Berry and Stefanski elected to not go with a veteran backup going in the season as they traded Josh Dobbs to the Cardinals. At first this move proved to be costly with Watson's injury and Dobbs playing well in Arizona. However, Berry made the right move and got a veteran with a Super Bowl on his resume, and Stefanski has coached his butt off and put Flacco in great positions to succeed. Stefanski should be the clear-cut favorite for NFL Coach of the Year, even if some of his own fanbase doesn't approve (those people are wrong).

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Andrew Berry has assembled one hell of a football team and due to the hiring, signings, and trades he orchestrated. With all that Berry did and all that the coaches have been able to do, despite a bevy of injuries, this culture has shifted. Everyone on the team plays for one another regardless of who is on the field. All of this builds the resume of Berry for Executive of the Year.