Browns, Chiefs bear unmistakable thumbprint of their ex-GM
KANSAS CITY, Mon. (AP) - Andy Reid doesn't take long to see the Kansas City Chiefs head coach in the movie about the Cleveland Browns, seeing the signature fingerprint of former general manager John Dorsey on their style and staff.
Probably because Reid still sees it in his own team.
It was Dorsey who, along with Reid, overtook a Chiefs franchise that took place 2-14 years before their arrival and when GM was pivotal in drafting day decisions that brought Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill to Kansas City. And it was Dorsey who, after being fired from the Chiefs, inherited a Browns franchise that was 0-16. He promptly designed Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, and a handful of other players who were instrumental in their turnaround.
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"He's done a good job here and there trying to get the right people in and they can play football, so see that," Reid said during a Zoom interview on Wednesday. “Yes, to answer you. I see that."
In all of his work flipping two long-lived franchises, Dorsey had to enjoy the fruits of his labor from afar. He watched the Chiefs win their first Super Bowl in 50 years last February, and now the Browns have won their first playoff game since 1994 as a front office advisor to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The reason things got mixed up in Kansas City was because of concerns about his communication and management style, according to several front office workers. He often made decisions without consulting others in the facility, and his inability to manage the salary cap left Chiefs unable to complement their young cadre through acquisitions of freelance agents.
It certainly didn't have much to do with his exploration and design work.
Dorsey's first draft in Kansas City in 2013 brought Eric Fisher, who went from number 1 overall to a strong left tackle, and Kelce, who went from a third-round gamble to one of the greatest bottlenecks in history the NFL has developed into the net.
Dorsey also selected two-time Pro Bowl defender Chris Jones, wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and record-breaking Hill in the 2016 draft. Most notably, he moved to 10th overall the following year to pick Mahomes - the 2018 league MVP and the reigning Super Bowl MVP, who has the Chiefs within a win of their third AFC title game in a row.
"John has always done a really good job finding talent," said broad receiver Chris Conley, who was designed by him in Kansas City and now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. "He knows what he's talking about, he knows football and he can sense things that other people can't see in people. He's seen potential and skills in some people in the locker room that people wouldn't see before playing." I'm not really showing that. "
No wonder it didn't take Dorsey long to land in Cleveland, where the Browns were at his disposal with a swarm of draft picks and lots of money. Mayfield and Ward were his first round favorites in 2018, and both have grown to be stars, while high profile acquisitions from veteran receiver Jarvis Landry and pass rushers Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson form the core of the best Browns team in decades.
Despite obvious improvements in the squad, the victories did not follow immediately. When owner Jimmy Haslam decided to change the organizational structure after coach Freddie Kitchens was fired, he and Dorsey could not agree on a role that would have allowed the former Packers linebacker to stay with the organization.
Similar to Kansas City, the foundation he set up in Cleveland survived him.
“John's a great man - a great family man - and a really good staff man. Just look at our two teams, ”said Brown coach Kevin Stefanski. “Have a lot of respect for him. I met him a few years ago. He's an excellent talent assessor, and I think there are a lot of players on this team that I know, guys John brought with him, so I appreciate him very much. "
The owner families of both teams must appreciate him equally. When the Dorsey Chiefs moved on, they merely promoted his right-wing man, Brett Veach, to general manager. When the Browns did too, they brought back Andrew Berry, who was Vice President of Personnel at Dorsey in Philadelphia a year ago.
In other words, Dorsey's fingerprint doesn't just refer to Browns and Chiefs players taking to the field on Sunday.
It's also on both organizations.
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