Browns GM Dorsey Says Tyrod Taylor Natural Leader

Browns Helmet

CLEVELAND, OH - Browns general manager John Dorsey met with the media on Friday and here's what he had to say:

Opening statement:

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It has been an exciting three or four days here for this organization. There is a lot of people I would like to thank with regards to that. Of course, ownership. I want to thank them for everything that they have done in terms of us moving forward. I want to thank the coaching staff, personnel staff and the analytics staff for all of their work. This is a plan that I think is really interesting. We tried to set a plan two months ago. I think we did a really nice job of executing this plan moving forward, and this is just the first phase. Like I always say, you don’t win games here in the spring; you win games in the fall. This helps contribute, and I look forward to winning games in the fall.”

On acquiring QB Tyrod Taylor:

“I think the beauty of Tyrod is – you all have met him – I think he is a natural leader. I think he has the skillset physically to extend plays. He does not turn the ball over, which I really like and admire. He has the arm strength to really go deep. I think he fits the mechanics of what (Head Coach) Hue (Jackson) and (offensive coordinator) Todd (Haley) are looking for in the offense. I just thought it was a natural fit.”

On the philosophy behind trading players before free agency officially began:

“You know what I thought was really interesting was that the start of the league year started yesterday at four o’clock, and here those guys are in the building today. To me, that is really exciting.”

On acquiring WR Jarvis Landry:

“I think his stats are there. I think he has marvelous stats. He is a four-time Pro Bowler. He has a presence about him and the way he plays the game. I think he will be ideal in the slot receiver position. He loves to play the football game. He is one of those guys that we consistently talk about – Are they competitive? Do they love the game of football? I think he fits that model.”


On if the organization had to sign Landry to a long-term extension to make the trade happen:

“That is the business of football. Sometimes I feel – this is just me personally, take no offense – I don’t like to talk about the business of football players in this format. I see long-term success for him in this organization. That is what I look forward to.”

On getting an edge in the beginning stages of the 2018 season by making many changes now:

“We are all in this game for a reason – we like to win. We are competitive. I have said this earlier before, this team is going to be competitive year in and year out in the AFC North. I think in the beginning stages now, these pieces are going to help us achieve that goal going into the 2018 season.”

On seeing Taylor potentially having long-term success with the franchise:

“I do. We want success, and we want long-term success with Tyrod. Right now, he is our starting quarterback. Right now, I could not be more excited to have Tyrod as a Cleveland Brown.”

On how the personality of the team has changed in the past week:

“That is a good question. I think that is hard to tell. I know this, when players walk in the building, you can feel a certain energy in that building. That is what I always like about this period when new guys come in here and guys are really excited to be here and I really appreciate that. Until those guys come together in training camp and the OTA sessions because every team’s identity is different year in and year out. Just meeting those guys today, I can understand that they are going to help us and help us achieve our ultimate goals.”

On the term ‘bridge quarterback’ being applied to Taylor despite the Browns draft picks traded to acquire him:

“That is a hypothetical. You never know what is going to happen in the draft. We have always said that. Having Tyrod Taylor in this organization, I know one thing – he has been to the playoffs. He understands how to do it. He has lead men. For him to be here, that is exciting. We will see. When we get to the draft, we will see that component. We will see what happens there.”

On future plans at LT:

“I think the best five offensive linemen, what you try to do is put the best five offensive linemen in place. What you do is you have (OLs) Spencer Drango, Shon Coleman and Donald Stephenson, and those guys will get first crack at it and we will see what happens there.”

On what he saw in OL Shon Coleman last season:

“I saw a big guy with effort. You know what was really neat about this? Today, I was walking around the building and I looked out at the indoor facility, and I saw Joe Thomas and Shon Coleman together. They were working on stuff already. You can just see that Shon is committed and he is looking forward to the challenge. That is all you could ask for.”

On acquiring DB Damarious Randall, particularly with personnel having experience with him in Green Bay:

“First, I have a high degree of confidence in Alonzo Highsmith and Eliot. I think they are very successful in what they do. When they give strong recommendations, I listen to those recommendations moving forward. Now, personally, I watched Randall in college, and I thought he was a really good football player. He has natural feet. He has really excellent athletic skillsets. He gives you great flexibility. He can play corner. He can play safety. I think those will begin to be determined when the OTAs occur and when training camp occurs. Then I think you make those judgments with regards to if he is a corner, is he a safety and how are we going to go about doing this.”

On how the free agent acquisitions affect the team’s draft plans:

“I think you never want to go into a draft hamstrung in terms of being forced to do this or forced to make a bad move up here. If you can have the assets to play in free agency and you are lucky enough to get certain players that can improve the organization, you make moves like that because that will help in changing your mindset and thinking as you approach the draft.”

On signing RB Carlos Hyde and if that rules out drafting Penn State RB Saquon Barkley:

“Not necessarily. You can’t have enough good football players. I think with Carlos, I have always liked what he does. I think he is built to play the Cleveland Browns’ style of running game. The draft is so far down the road. We are just at the second phase of that as we get closer to the spring workouts and we get everybody back in that room together and just finalize our draft board. That is to be determined down the road.”

On confidence in the run game pairing Hyde with RB Duke Johnson Jr. and potentially another RB in the draft:

“Again, you want to create as much competition as you can. That is how I look at it.”

On if Dorsey knew that he would be able to keep the top five draft picks throughout the free agency process:

“You basically really can’t orchestrate a trade until the start of the league year begins at four o’clock. Miraculously, those guys appear and they are here today.”

On the decision to trade for Taylor as opposed to signing a free agent QB:

“What we did in our evaluations of that position, and we did it not only with the personnel department, the coaching staff and the analytics department, we did it is as an organization. We all kind of sat and talked together. At the end of it and of just listening to what everybody had to say about what is best for this organization, we did what is best for the organization, and Tyrod Taylor is here today.”

On positions that still need improvement:

“I’m of the mindset of I want to crate as much competition at every position we possibly can going into training camp. What I am going to do after I finish up here today is I’m going back up with the personnel staff and we are going to revisit and begin to get into the second phase of unrestricted free agency, assess the strengths and weaknesses of our team and then begin the college process, as well.”

On his evaluation of the Browns DBs last season, given the acquisition of multiple DBs with the start of the league year:

“That we could use a little bit more speed. That was one thing I thought, that we could use a little bit more speed in the defensive backfield. I think we are going to get some speed in the defensive backfield.”

On if DB Jabrill Peppers was playing ‘out of position out of necessity’:

“Not necessarily. I think what will be interesting is young guys when they get into the league in their rookie year and all of sudden they are thrust into that starting position, that is hard for guys to do that. I have always said the greatest impact that young men make is from that first to that second year when they have had that chance to decompress a little bit and then refocus their energies on the craft at hand. I foresee Jabrill, who I love his energy and his athleticism, I would like to see him grab that position and just keep working at his craft and get better. I can see him developing and getting better.”

On if the front office is ‘ahead of schedule’ with the team’s plans for the offseason:

“You are never ahead of schedule. I thought we did a really nice, thorough and detailed job of kind of just laying out that play and then trying to execute that plan. That plan was part of the unrestricted free agency plan. Now, we move into the second wave of free agency and then we move into the college draft. To me in my mind after we meet with the guys, I’m going to get back in and dive into the college because that is going to be very important to the organization.”

On not attending the pro days of Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield and UCLA QB Josh Rosen:

“There are also private workouts, too.”

On if he will attend Southern California QB Sam Darnold’s pro day:

“You never know until you show up there.”

On DB Jason McCourty:

“It actually was interesting. Jason’s agent was in the building today. He and I had a long conversation. I would say about an hour ago I had a talk with Jason McCourty. Out of respect for him, I told him we were going to release him today. I did that for a reason because I wanted to be fair to him and I think he has earned that trust and respect to do that. I wanted to talk to him personally that I want to give you a shot to go somewhere else, because right now, I don’t know if you will make this roster. I wanted to be fair to him and give him an opportunity to catch on with another club.”

On if it was ‘read into’ that Dorsey missed the pro days for Mayfield and Rosen:

“You never know.”

On importance of bringing in experienced players:

“For the big picture of the team, bring in guys that can help and create competition. I don’t think that was our sole objective in terms of bringing in age to do this or do that. I just wanted to bring in really good football players, and this was a resource that we could use in terms of unrestricted free agency. We had great assets in place so why not take advantage of that?”

On what areas still need to be addressed:

“Right now, I would like to get a W. I would like to get a few of those W’s, and that is what I am working towards.”

On if adding more free agents are possible in the next few days:

“As this wave unfolds, now the kind of top guys are gone, you kind of reshuffle the deck and see who is there. You may be able to acquire one or two more players. That is why I am going upstairs to talk to the guys. Who knows? Maybe there is a chance to get one or two more guys. I think it is our fiduciary responsibility to explore every option possible to create that competition.”

On if Dorsey is ‘open for business’ in possibly dealing the No. 1 overall pick:

“I am always open for business. Call my phone.”

On not pursuing NFL QBs Kirk Cousins or AJ McCarron:

“Tyrod Taylor is our starting quarterback, and I am fine with that. There comes a time when you have to be prudent in terms of going about this and going about this the right way. It is not just Year 1, Year 2 or Year 2. When you are doing the cap stuff; you have to think long term. You have to think about ramifications on other players and other extensions. Those play an important part, as well.”

On if there was a need to be aggressive in free agency and trading due to the QB market:

“It is not about being aggressive. It is just about making prudent decisions, sound decisions that are best for the organization and then listening to everybody and their discussions with regards to particular players. Then it is my job to make sure we make the best decisions moving forward. I think we have done that.”

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