KANSAS CITY, Mo. It doesn't take long for Andy Reid to appear on the Cleveland Browns 'film for the Kansas City Chiefs' head coach to see former general manager John Dorsey's unmistakable fingerprint in their style and staff.
Probably because Reid still sees it in his own team.
It was Dorsey who joined Reid in reviewing a Chiefs franchise that was 2-14 before they arrived, and as GM was pivotal to the design decisions that brought Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill to Kansas City. And it was Dorsey who, after being let go by the Chiefs in June 2017, inherited a Browns franchise from 0-16. He promptly enlisted Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward and a handful of other players who were instrumental in their turnaround.
“He's done a good job here and there bringing in the right people, and they can play football, so you see,” Reid said during a Zoom interview on Wednesday. & # 39; Yes, to answer you. I see that."
Despite all his work turning two long-suffering franchises, Dorsey has had to enjoy the fruits of his labor from afar. He saw the Chiefs win their first Super Bowl in 50 years last February and has now seen the Browns win their first playoff game since 1994 as a front office adviser to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The reason things went haywire in Kansas City came down to concerns about his communication and management style, according to several people at the front office. He often made decisions without consulting others in the facility, and his inability to manage the pay cap kept the Chiefs from replenishing their young roster with acquisitions of free agents.
It certainly didn't have much to do with his exploration and drawing.
Dorsey & # 39; s first draw in Kansas City in 2013 saw Eric Fisher, who has progressed from the # 1 overall squad to a tough left tackle, and Kelce, who has progressed from a third round gamble to one of the best tight ends in NFL history. .
Dorsey also selected the two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones, wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and the record-breaking Hill in the 2016 draft. Most notably, he advanced to the # 10 overall pick the following year to select Mahomes – the MVP of 2018 and the reigning Super Bowl MVP the Chiefs won after reaching their third consecutive AFC title game.
"John has always found some really good talent," said wide receiver Chris Conley, who was called up by him in Kansas City and is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. "He knows what he's talking about, he knows football and he can feel things that other people can't see in people. In some people in the locker room, he saw potential and ability that people wouldn't really attest to before they played."
No wonder it wasn't long before Dorsey landed in Cleveland, where the Browns had started a new rebuild with a variety of tow bars and plenty of cash at his disposal. Mayfield and Ward were his first-round picks in 2018 and both have gone on to become stars, while high-profile acquisitions from veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry and pass rushers Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson are at the heart of the best Browns team in decades.
Despite obvious upgrades to the squad, wins were not immediate. When owner Jimmy Haslam decided to change the organizational structure following the resignation of coach Freddie Kitchens, he and Dorsey couldn't agree on a role that would allow the former Packers linebacker to stay with the organization.
Like Kansas City, the foundation he helped establish in Cleveland outlived him.
“John is a great man – a great family man – and a very good hiring man. Just look at both of our teams, ”said Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. 'Have a lot of respect for him. I met him a few years ago. He is an excellent talent evaluator. and sure, a lot of players on this team that I know are guys that John brought in, so I really appreciate him. "
The ownership families of both teams must keep him equally high. When the Chiefs left Dorsey, they only promoted his right-hand man, Brett Veach, to the position of general manager. When the Browns did the same, they brought back Andrew Berry, who was vice president of staff under Dorsey before spending a year in Philadelphia.
In other words, Dorsey & # 39; s fingerprint isn't just on the Browns and Chiefs players taking the field on Sunday.
It's also on both organizations.