Rock solid front office
The hiring of Eliot Wolf as the Browns’ assistant general manager Wednesday completes a total rebuild of the upper echelon of the franchise’s front office management.
Wolf reunites with former Green Bay Packers colleagues John Dorsey and Alonzo Highsmith to form the most formidable front office the Browns have had since the return in 1999.
Three solid football men in charge of a college draft that, barring trades, will yield five picks in the first two rounds and six of the first 65 selections gives the Browns the kind of drafting gravitas they have not had in a very long time.
Feeling that much more comfortable in his new job as Cleveland’s general manager, Dorsey has now surrounded himself with two men whose approach to stocking and crafting a roster run parallel courses.
That almost assures Paul DePodesta, the club’s chief strategy officer, will be on the outside looking in come draft time in late April. That is if he is still employed by the club, which has taken a sharp turn in a significantly different direction with regard to player personnel.
Browns fans should feel comfortable and confident in the new three wise men now in charge of rebuilding this team. Definitely much more so than the trio in charge of the last two drafts who opted for quantity over quality.
It is believed Wolf’s new title with the Browns was created by the club in order to pry him loose from the Packers, who chose Brian Gutekunst over him as their new general manager, succeeding Ted Thompson.
Wolf is as close to being an NFL lifer as one could be even though he is only 35. He was in his mid teens when he began learning all about the NFL from his father, Ron, who was the Packers’ general manager.
It would not be surprising if Wolf eventually becomes the Browns’ general manager in the not-too-distant future with Dorsey moving up to the now-vacant office of president.
Highsmith will share the role of vice president in charge of player personnel with holdover Andrew Berry, who was the point man on player personnel for deposed de facto general manager Sashi Brown.
Ken Kovash transitions from player personnel to the club’s strategy department. The fate of others in the middle echelons of the front office is not known. If retained, it very well could be in a reduced role.
Fans can rest assure the Browns are finally headed in the right direction in a department that has seriously lacked the kind of personnel judgment that ultimately leads to success on the field.
Coach Hue Jackson will find it much more difficult to coach in lockstep with the philosophies of Dorsey, Wolf and Highsmith. No longer will he have reason to blame the front office for not providing the kind of personnel that will lead to success.
No, those days are long gone and now the Cleveland coach will have to be much more accountable to the new troika in charge. Reporting to the owners won’t carry nearly as much weight now as it did previously. It will all be on him from now on.
It’s about time.