CLEVELAND – The Browns ended 2019 in the same way as at the beginning of the year – without a coach and some would argue unsuspectingly.
After Brown's general manager John Dorsey's resignation, Cleveland ushered in chaos in 2020, and his impressive farewell came just two days after coach Freddie Kitchens was fired after a disappointing 6:10 season.
Dorsey, who switched a 0-16 squad to a talented squad in 2017 in two years, left the company after refusing to take on a limited role in the organization offered by owner Jimmy Haslam. So Haslam and his wife Dee restructure the team's front office while saying goodbye to another GM.
While Dorsey's exit has created yet another mess, the Browns will interview former Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy about their vacancy on Thursday, a person familiar with the team's plans told the Associated Press ,
McCarthy's interview will be the first in Cleveland's quest, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the discussions.
McCarthy was viewed as the leader in the work of the Browns last year, but surprisingly did not conduct an interview. The team also asked for permission to interview Kansas City's offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, the person said. Bieniemy joins a list of Brown's candidates, including assistants Josh McDaniels, Greg Roman, Robert Saleh, Kevin Stefanski and Brian Daboll.
Dorsey had successfully reworked the Browns in his two seasons, but his take on Kitchens a year ago failed when the Browns won one game less in 2019 and left expectations far behind while playing the 17th season playoffs missed in a row – the NFL longest current drought.
In a prepared statement, the Haslams Dorsey thanked him for his efforts and applauded him for laying the foundation "We must continue to develop and build on it".
The Haslams admitted that Dorsey had "greatly" improved the team's talent, but the Browns had to change more this season to realize their potential.
"As the role of general manager in this league evolved, we felt there were areas that needed to be reassessed," they said. "In the past 48 hours we had a discussion with John about his role, but we couldn't agree on a position that would allow him to stay with the organization.
“As we announced on Sunday and affirmed our players yesterday, it is our priority to hire a strong leader with our head coach. Our process of improving leadership will allow flexibility to ensure that we enter into the best partnership between our future head coach and the general manager. "
It is another explosion of the Haslams that perfect the demolition. There has been no continuity since the purchase of Randy Lerner's team in 2012 and the dismissal of five coaches and five leading football executives in seven years.
It is unclear what impact Dorsey's departure will have on the roles of Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta, Deputy GM Eliot Wolf, or Vice President of Player Staff Alonzo Highsmith. Wolf and Highsmith were brought from Dorsey to Cleveland.
Earlier in the day, the Browns postponed a scheduled press conference with Dorsey. The team said it was pushed back until Thursday due to the New Year holidays and coaching meetings.
However, much more happened when Dorsey was pushed aside after only two years of use. When he got to Cleveland, Dorsey promised to wake up the "sleeping giant" of the Browns.
He could hardly move her.
"When I took up this job, the history of this historic franchise and the passion of our fans was an integral part of my decision," said Dorsey. “The same understanding and desire to let these fans share in the success they deserve, together with Jimmy and Dee, led me to the conclusion that it was best to go looking for a new head coach.
“I know how critical the relationship between a general manager and a head coach is, and I also know how critical it is that the Browns have a strong leader in their next coach. I really appreciate the men and women I've worked with since my stay in Cleveland, and my family also appreciates this community and is grateful that they were able to take this trip. "
Dorsey joined the Browns in December 2017 after previous positions in Green Bay and Kansas City and immediately began revising a roster that lacked quality and front office. With Dorsey as the winner, the Browns went from 0-16 in 2017 to 7-8-1 in 2018.
Dorsey took several smart steps and his decision to design quarterback Baker Mayfield No. 1 as overall winner in 2018 seemed to be a winner when the QB broke the league newcomers' record for touchdown passes. Then Dorsey made a blockbuster deal last March by acquiring the star-wide receiver Odell Beckham in a deal with the New York Giants.
The Browns were a smart choice for the playoffs this season, but Mayfield stepped down in his second year under Kitchens, which Dorsey had preferred to other candidates a year ago despite lacking experience as head coach. Cleveland was also one of the league's most disadvantaged teams, and the season had collapsed in the past few weeks as kitchens paid the price.
Dorsey was also unable to strengthen Cleveland's offensive line after multi-year Pro Bowl attacker Joe Thomas retired and some of his draft picks were unsuccessful. Still, he left the Browns better than he found them.
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