The Cleveland Browns announced they have hired former Indianapolis Colts pro scouting coordinator Andrew Berry as their vice president of player personnel.
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com initially reported the news. This is considered the top personnel job in the Browns organization, according to Schefter.
Per the Colts official website, Berry had been in his position four years with Indianapolis after joining the team in 2009 as a scouting assistant. Hayden Grove of Scout Media seemed to think Cleveland got the guy it wanted:
Browns will hire Colts pro scouting coordinator, Andrew Berry, as VP of Player Personnel, per Adam Schefter. CLE has its talent evaluator.— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) January 27, 2016
The hiring of Berry is one of many non-player moves the Browns have made this offseason. After firing head coach Mike Pettine and hiring Hue Jackson, the team brought on newcomers Sashi Brown as president of football operations and Paul DePodesta as chief strategy officer.
Brown spoke about the decision to bring in Berry in the team's release:
“We are fortunate to add someone of Andrew's caliber to the Cleveland Browns. Andrew has been part of a strong foundation in Indianapolis and possesses a tremendous understanding of what is needed to lead a successful, high functioning and comprehensive personnel group. He has been trained by some very experienced and highly successful personnel executives in the National Football League. Andrew understands what it takes to build a winning team and the individual traits that are essential in looking at each player that make up that team. Andrew's strategic and relentless approach to improving his craft and this team will positively impact our short and long-term opportunities. We are excited to welcome him to Cleveland.”
Jackson also weighed in on the move:
“Andrew will be a great leader in our personnel department. In spending time with Andrew, it is evident that he has a very strong understanding of the game. His substance and depth in his analysis of how to build a successful team and how he looks at individual players will be a great benefit to us moving forward. It is critical to not just rely on one individual but to have a leader in place that can bring together a comprehensive array of information from our talented and hard working group of scouts and raise the strategic level and success of our approach.”
With so many new faces in the front office, there almost certainly will be a learning curve, but Berry brings an impressive resume. In addition to his seven years with the Colts, he was a two-time All-American cornerback with the Harvard Crimson and earned a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in computer science while there, per Schefter.
The Browns will enter 2016 having finished with a losing record 12 of the past 13 seasons and carrying a dilemma at quarterback with the unproductive Josh McCown and much-maligned Johnny Manziel on the roster. They won just three games in 2015, but Berry and the rest of the front office will have a chance to show what they can do early on as the Browns hold the No. 2 selection in the upcoming NFL draft.