Cleveland Browns have hired Paul DePodesta as the team’s chief strategy officer. DePodesta’s character was portrayed by Jonah Hill in the popular movie “Moneyball.”
DePodesta will be making the big leap from baseball to football. Last year, he helped the New York Mets become the National League champions in Major League Baseball (MLB).
In the new Browns hierarchy, DePodesta will report directly to owner Jimmy Haslam. In fact, Sashi Brown – VP of football operations – will also report to the young analytical wizard.
“We are fortunate to bring in Paul, an extremely talented, highly respected sports executive who will add a critical dimension to our front office,” Browns owner Haslam said Tuesday. “His approach and ambition to find the best pathways for organizational success transcend one specific sport and his experience as a high-level sports executive make him a terrific addition to the Cleveland Browns.”
“While we are excited about what Paul will provide our organization, we remain fully focused on the critical task of identifying the right head coach and player personnel executive who will provide the football expertise needed to be successful.”
Cleveland Browns, finishing the just-concluded NFL regular season with a disastrous 3-13 record, are desperately in need of a shot in the arm. DePodesta is expected to help the team.
DePodesta, expected to be part of the group that appoints the next Browns coach, will also be allowed to make personnel changes within the organization. “Cleveland and football have always held a special place in my heart,” DePodesta, a native of Virginia, said after his historic signing.
DePodesta added, “It was 20 years ago this month, after pursing my first love of football and looking at every possible job in the NFL, that I got the biggest break I could imagine — a job offer from the American League champion Cleveland Indians. As excited as I was then, I am even more excited now to return to Cleveland and to try to help the Browns.”
If DePodesta can turn the Browns’ fortunes next season, he might warrant another movie highlighting his achievements in the world of sports. Having observed the improvements made by the Mets, the Cleveland Browns have seemingly handed the keys to DePodesta.