After helping a Chiefs team largely assembled by John Dorsey win at Cleveland, four players he brought to Kansas City weigh in on what Browns fans can expect from their general manager.
BEREA Thirty-four years into his NFL career, 58-year-old John Dorsey is in charge of picking a head coach for the first time.
It remains to be seen whether Dorsey can find the first field boss since Marty Schottenheimer to assemble a winning record during his tenure in Cleveland. Dorsey’s main job remains picking players who can be coached into winning. The Kansas City Chiefs left town agreeing he is good at that.
“I love John Dorsey,” said Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ 29-year-old tight end. “He gave me an opportunity to play in the NFL.”
Dorsey became general manager of the Chiefs in 2013 when the team was coming off a 2-14 year. In Round 3, he took Kelce, the fifth tight end off the board. Kelce leads 2018 tight ends with 741 receiving yards on a team that is 8-1. Kelce reflects Dorsey decisions that helped the Chiefs post winning records in all five of the years for which he set the roster.
The ’13 draft was getting thin. Sixteen picks before Kelce, the Cowboys plucked tight end Gavin Escobar, now out of the league. Five picks after Kelce, the Browns landed cornerback Leon McFadden, soon gone from the team.
“John has the ability to recognize talent and to take risks on some guys who have some issues,” Kelce said. “He’s willing to take risks and believe in some guys, and I think he’s done well for them, and they for him.”
In Kansas City and now in Cleveland, Dorsey has chased free agents to round out the roster. One of his moves was to sign right tackle Mitchell Schwartz away from the Browns after the 2015 season.
“He’s a helluva GM,” Schwartz said after helping the Chiefs win big at Cleveland. “I’ll always be indebted to him. He had some great drafts and we have a pretty loaded roster and his fingerprints are on a lot of that.
“I think things are going to turn around in Cleveland pretty quick.”
Schwartz, who never missed a down in four years as a Brown and has played every offensive snap since joining the Chiefs, was asked what Dorsey seeks in a player.
“He looks for tough-minded guys who work hard and are good chemistry guys,” Schwartz said. “Then you don’t have to coach effort and intensity. It’s kind of built into the players.
“He has a very good roster in Cleveland. When you watch film, there’s really no position that isn’t impressive.”
Wideout Chris Conley is an example of Dorsey’s ability to build depth. Dorsey made a splash trade to get Patrick Mahomes and delivered draft steals with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Kelce and others. Less noticed are helpful cogs such as wideout Conley, who made a 23-yard catch during Sunday’s onslaught against the Browns.
“John can sense things other people can’t see in people,” Conley said. “Here, he saw potential and ability in some people that other people wouldn’t attest to. Maybe he sees a special playmaking ability or likes someone’s mindset.
“Intangibles are hard to sniff out. He does a good job at that. John has always done a really good job of finding talent. He did that in Kansas City. He’ll do that in Cleveland.”
Dorsey’s first pick as Chiefs GM was Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher at No. 1 overall. In retrospect, it was a shaky crop at the top, with the rest of top 10 becoming Luke Joeckel, Dion Jordan, Lane Johnson, Ezekiel Ansah, Barkevious Mingo, Jonathan Cooper, Tavon Austin, Dee Milliner and Chance Warmack.
Dorsey’s choice wasn’t great compared to other years’ No. 1s, but he has rounded into an effective blind-side protector for Mahomes.
“John and I had a very good relationship,” Fisher said. “He’s great at what he does. He drafted a lot of great players in Kansas City going all the way back to 2013.
“He definitely knows what he’s doing. I’m sure he’ll make the best of what’s out there for Cleveland.”
Reach Steve at 330-580-8347 or
On Twitter: @sdoerschukREP