World News – US – For Browns, trying anything can ultimately lead to something


The Cleveland results may not have followed the initial vision of analytical strategist Paul DePodesta, but a 4-1 record is a calculation anyone can do

The Cleveland Browns tried just about everything from 2016 to 2019 in an attempt to escape decades of failure: embrace analysis, reject analysis, emphasize character, ignore character, austere jostling, lavish spending – and sometimes trying all of those tactics simultaneously

Unsurprisingly, the rapid succession of 180-degree drops in organizational philosophy have not improved the Browns Until this season, it’s The Browns are 4-1, and their balanced attack and their formidable pass race have them set to produce their first winning season since 2007 and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002

The secret to the team’s recovery is that they no longer look for a secret method to change things

The most recent era of Browns’ futility began when majority owner Jimmy Haslam hired Paul DePodesta as chief strategy officer after a 3-13 in 2015 His front-office exploits for Oakland Athletics baseball in the early 2000s were recounted in Michael Lewis’s bestseller « Moneyball » and fictionalized in the feature film of the same name DePodesta is revered as one of the founding fathers of sports analysis: Alexander Hamilton as portrayed by Jonah Hill, a data-driven maestro of the trading and trading markets renowned for turning short-term sacrifices into long-term dividends

DePodesta has been hailed as the Browns’ last potential savior (there have been many), someone who could easily rebuild the roster by foiling the blustery and anti-intellectual NFL establishment Unfortunately, baseball and football are very different sports, and the Browns installed what looked like a shoddy version of « Moneyball » based less on statistical research and more on blurbs and existential puzzles: saving is spending Losing is winning L ‘ failure is ultimate success

For two years, DePodesta’s regime crafted trades to acquire draft picks and traded draft picks for even more draft picks in what appeared to be an effort to resupply the Browns’ non-existent farming system Meanwhile, coach Hue Jackson, like the middle manager of a forgotten regional sales branch, seemed to be getting a little too comfortable in an environment where winning was almost discouraged. The Browns are 1-31 in two seasons, a cons-accomplishment even by their standards, but the team’s upside down post made it difficult to tell if the losses were part of a counterintuitive plan

Haslam, who had burned three groups of coaches and general managers since buying the team in 2012, replaced a high-level DePodesta lieutenant, Sashi Brown, with a traditionalist general manager, John Dorsey, in the end of the 2017 season Dorsey picked Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 Draft, acquired Odell Beckham Jr in a trade with the Giants, and made other moves that marked a shift in the team’s priorities from « winning in one. » distant future « to » win soon « 

Describing what happened next in a few sentences would be like trying to sum up the French Revolution on a cocktail napkin After a series of clashes in the boardroom, Jackson was fired, Dorsey gained a greater controlling football operations, DePodesta donned a ghost mask and disappeared into the rafters, and inexperienced Freddie Kitchen rose from obscurity to become the Browns’ offensive caller halfway through the game. 2018 season

Kitchens’ brief tenure has unfolded like the sequence of a campus comedy where the guys from Alpha Kappa Chugga lock the Dean in his closet and each week declare to be Greek Week after wrapping up the 2018 season with a 5-2 streak and after gaining a little too much pre-season hype, the Browns played like they expected to reach the playoffs thanks to their skill and rebellious boast

They went 6-10 instead, as Kitchens made basic strategic mistakes, Beckham and Myles Garrett clashed on the pitch with opponents, and Mayfield fell back to quarterback while arguing publicly with local and national media Few teams have ever let such little success go to their heads

The Kitchens and Dorsey were made redundant at the end of the 2019 season, with DePodesta reappearing from a hatch under the stage to feature another cast of characters, led by GM Andrew Berry and trainer Kevin Stefanski

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Superficially, the latest change in leadership looks like the result of yet another board coup, with DePodesta ousting the royalists from Dorsey and inserting inexperienced, friendly officials with scarce resumes in their place But the newcomers seem more determined to win games than to engage in brainstorming experiments: they learned veteran skills in their first offseason instead of using last year’s shenanigans. House « to justify another » Moneyball « -themed purge of the roster Scans now work under the Browns hood instead of flapping like a flag mounted from the car antenna

It’s tempting to interpret the Browns’ current success as a triumph of DePodesta’s initial vision, but it would also be quite sad to interpret four early-season wins after four years of upheaval as some sort of « triumph. «  » Specifically, the Browns ultimately built a quality roster against their will, with a few key pieces arriving in the First Moneyball Dynasty (Garrett, wide receiver Jarvis Landry), many during the Dorsey Rebellion (Mayfield, Beckham, half offensives Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt) and a few during the current Great Reformation (offensive lineman Jack Conklin, tight end Austin Hooper)

The 2020 Browns are successful because they are a talented team who execute fundamentally solid game plans every week instead of prematurely bragging about their outstanding greatness or joining a franchise-building paradigm that eerily resembles to a multi-level marketing program It’s a simple formula that won’t inspire any intellectual movement or feature films But it works, at least for now


World News – United States – For Browns, Anything Trying Can Lead to Something


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