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Andrew Berry addresses criticism of involvement in Browns' 1-31 stretch

Appearing on TODAY, Cleveland Browns general manager reflected on his journey to becoming the NFL's youngest general manager.

Last month, the Cleveland Browns made headlines when they made Andrew Berry the youngest general manager in NFL history.

The Browns' hiring of the 32-year-old Berry, however, wasn't without controversy as the former Philadelphia Eagles vice president of football operations previously served as a member of Cleveland's front office from 2016-2018.

Over the course of those first two seasons, the Browns amassed a dismal 1-31 record, including just the second 0-16 season in NFL history in 2016. Appearing on TODAY, Berry -- who served as the Browns' vice president of player personnel during that span -- addressed that criticism.

"The focus was a little bit more on accumulating assets whether it was draft picks, young players, cap space to set a foundation for long-term success," Berry said. "But at the end of the day, it is about winning and that has to be the focus and we didn't win enough games."

While the Browns' rebuild has yet to result in winning -- Cleveland's 6-10 record in 2019 marked its 12th consecutive losing season -- it'd be tough to deny that the team's talent level hasn't improved. Thanks in large part to their draft positioning and asset accumulation, the Browns have acquired players such as Myles Garrett, Jarvis Landry, Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham Jr. in the past three years.

Getting Cleveland over the hump will now fall on the shoulders of Berry, a former Harvard cornerback with a background in both scouting and analytics. And while the Maryland native may not have experienced many victories during his first stint with the Browns, he's also well aware of what it would mean to make them a winner once again.

"It was like rain [and] sleet blowing sideways. Miserable conditions to be outside," Berry said, recalling a trip to Cleveland during his time as a member of the Indianapolis Colts' front office. "The team wasn't doing well and you would have thought it was a playoff game in January with how the fans were responding to the team. And that was my first exposure to the Cleveland Browns fanbase. The team holds a special, special place to the people of Northeast Ohio."

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