Eagles’ Berry Could Return to Cleveland
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Jimmy Haslam has a bit of a Jeffrey Lurie/Howie Roseman dynamic going on with Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry.
The Browns owner is seriously thinking about bringing Berry back to Cleveland and has requested permission from Philadelphia to interview Berry for the GM vacancy with the Browns.
Berry was Cleveland's vice president of player personnel from 2016 to 2018 before moving to the Eagles as vice president of football operations in February of this year.
While most in Philadelphia naturally connect Berry to Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in the Cleveland coaching search, NFL sources tell 973espn.com that his presence is related more to Minnesota offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
Stefanski, the son of former Philadelphia 76ers GM Ed Stefanski, got his start in the NFL as an Eagles intern where he got to know Brad Childress. Childress took Stefanski to the Vikings as an assistant to the head coach and the Penn grad slowly climbed the ladder from there through three head coaches: Childress, Leslie Frazier, and Mike Zimmer.
Berry and Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta, like Berry a Harvard product, both recommended Stefanski for the Browns head-coaching position last year while then-GM John Dorsey wanted to promote Freddie Kitchens to keep some consistency around the face of the franchise Baker Mayfield.
Haslam sided with Dorsey and got buyer's remorse after a 6-10 season, jettisoning both the GM and Kitchens.
Like Lurie when he regretted picking Chip Kelly over his most trusted advisor Roseman back in 2015, it looks as of Haslam wants to put the band he liked back together with the three Ivy League grads steering the Browns moving forward.
Schwartz, who interviewed for the Browns job on Wednesday, is open to the use of analytics an is a fan of Berry as well. The Eagles defensive coordinator is not believed to be a finalist for the job, however.
Berry is one of the two reported GM candidates the Browns have asked permission to interview. The other is Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds, who has a history with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and is also interested in Bills OC Brian Daboll.
Stefanski and Saleh met head-to-head on Saturday in the first NFC divisional game with the latter getting the best of Stefanski in a big way.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen