The Browns are really on one right now. Just a few days removed from chucking head coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer, the team has hired Paul DePodesta to be its ... top executive? Per a gibberish-laden press release (“DePodesta will be responsible for assessing and implementing best practices and strategies that will provide the organization with the comprehensive resources needed to make optimal decisions”), his title will be chief strategy officer. We’ll go with top executive for now.
This is, yes, that Paul DePodesta, the guy who was Billy Beane’s brain during the Oakland A’s Moneyball era and is one of baseball’s sabermetric darlings. He’s been serving as the Mets’ vice-president of player development and scouting since 2010, and now he’s ... running a football team?
I don’t really know what the hell to make of this. On the one hand, DePodesta has zero experience making football decisions and even a baseball team hiring him into a Theo Epstein/Andrew Friedman-type super-GM role would maybe raise some eyebrows. On the other, he’s obviously a smart guy who can probably bring a lot of value to any franchise, regardless of the sport. If it was any other team doing this, I’d probably see it as a cool, interesting, and creative move. But the Browns are the Browns, so it’s hard to argue for anything but cautious optimism.