Browns hire Andrew Berry as head of player personnel
CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns need smarter decisions from their front office. They've put another Ivy Leaguer in place to help them brainstorm.
Cleveland hired Andrew Berry, formerly with the Indianapolis Colts, as its new vice president of player personnel on Wednesday, completing an internal overhaul that began with the firing of general manager Ray Farmer last month.
Berry spent the past seven seasons with the Colts, overseeing their pro scouting department the past four. The 28-year-old will be Cleveland's top talent evaluator and work alongside Sashi Brown, the team's football operations director, and new coach Hue Jackson in acquiring players and putting together the team's draft board.
Like Brown, and new strategy director Paul DePodesta, Berry is a Harvard graduate, earning his master's degree in computer science from the school in just four years.
The highly educated trio will help turn around a franchise that hasn't been to the playoffs since 2007, enduring constant coaching changes and turmoil.
''We are fortunate to add someone of Andrew's caliber to the Cleveland Browns,'' Brown said. ''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.''
Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have restructured the team's front office since firing Farmer and coach Mike Pettine hours after a loss to Pittsburgh to end a 3-13 season.
Brown will have final say on Cleveland's 53-man roster, which was previously controlled by Farmer. Because he doesn't have a background in scouting or drafting players, Brown, who previously served as the team's legal counsel, top negotiator and salary-cap expert, will lean on Berry to help him assemble the Browns.
Berry started four years at cornerback for Harvard, earning three first-team All-Ivy League selections. He was a scouting assistant for the Colts for two years before being promoted to pro scout in 2011.
While he was with the Colts, the team won four AFC South titles, made five postseason appearances and advanced to a Super Bowl.
''I am truly excited about the opportunity to work with the Cleveland Browns,'' Berry said. ''I look forward to collaborating with Hue, Sashi, Paul and the personnel staff to make the most informed decisions to benefit our organization. Hue is an outstanding coach with a diversity of expertise and proven track record of success, while I think Sashi and Paul are two of the brightest minds in all of professional sports.''
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