Browns' DePodesta Expects To Stay With Team Despite Expiring Deal
Browns Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta has an "expiring contract, but he anticipates signing a new deal" once the team hires a GM, according to Nate Ulrich of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. DePodesta, speaking yesterday after introducing new coach Kevin Stefanski, said, "I talked to (owner) Jimmy (Haslam) about this: Let's get the head coach in place. Let's get the GM in place. The rest of it will work itself out. I'm not concerned about it. I expect to be here." Haslam said of DePodesta, "His role will remain the same, and Paul's going to do everything he can to make the head coach and the general manager, once we select that person, successful. We feel really good about Paul's role and his ability to affect the organization" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/15). In Cleveland, Scott Patsko notes DePodesta's vision "covers a lot of ground, from hiring someone to scouting to crunching numbers." DePodesta "admits that his voice in the organization has gotten stronger over the past four years, but that's mostly because he didn't know much" when he first joined the team in '16. DePodesta's family lives in San Diego, which has "led to a lot of commuting, and some criticism for not being in Berea full time." To that, he said, "I don't think (commuting) has been an issue. Like I said, I'm here every single week and we get our work done" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/15).
LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN: The BEACON JOURNAL's Ulrich notes Stefanski signed a five-year contract with the Browns, becoming the 18th coach in team history and the sixth since the Haslams became owners. DePodesta said, "I'm a big believer that there's a real cost to change. Forget about financial cost. There's a cost to turnover. ... We have to get this right." Ulrich notes DePodesta ran this coaching search, and ownership "made the final decision to go with Stefanski" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/15). DePodesta said that the Browns need a "shared vision," and for Stefanski to be a "'CEO' for the team." In Cleveland, Terry Pluto writes for years, the Browns have "been a simmering bubbling bowl of discontent." That discontent is what Haslam and DePodesta "hope will end with the hiring of Stefanski followed by a GM who will buy into the Browns analytic-based approach to team building" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/15).