Browns GM John Dorsey takes back 'real players' jab

One week after implying that the previous Cleveland Browns regime had failed in acquiring "real players," newly christened Browns general manager John Dorsey walked back that assessment.

"Listen, you guys are professional wordsmiths," Dorsey told 92.3 The Fan on Tuesday. "I am not a professional wordsmith. I'm a football guy. My intent was to say we don't have enough good football players. There's some good football players on this team.

"Are there some good young football players on this team? You bet there are. And you know what, we're going to get some more football players, and we're going to get some Ws, too."

Dorsey had previously used former executive Sashi Brown's team-building deficiencies as an excuse for embattled coach Hue Jackson to get off scot-free, who since being hired by Brown in 2016, has delivered a 1-29 record as Cleveland's head coach. On Tuesday, Dorsey reiterated the Browns' company line, not his, that Hue will be retained going into the 2018 season.

"Hue and I have a really good relationship," Dorsey explained. "First off, I think ownership has said that Hue would be back. With that, I'm excited to work with with him here. I've been really impressed with how Hue messages to the player. I've always thought that head coaches should be leaders of men, and when I watch [Jackson] talk to the team and how hard guys play for him, that's exciting.

"Then we've sat down in the past -- I'm not sure how long I've been here -- but we've had great conversations, and part of those conversations has been about how to build that strategic plan for the 2018 season as well."

Word is not bond in this league, especially when your coach is on the precipice of achieving only the second-ever 0-16 season in league history. If Cleveland drops its final two matches to Chicago and Pittsburgh, then Jackson will be at the mercy of an irritated and embarrassed fan base, whose reaction to the humiliation, if impassioned enough, could hold sway over Browns ownership decisions.

In not taking personal responsibility for the sins of Sashi or owner Jimmy Haslem's support of Jackson, Dorsey has in essence removed himself from blame, if and when the Browns hit the fan. It's a deft maneuver from a veteran personnel man, but if the fans don't see Dorsey as an honest leader who keeps his word, then they will just as quickly turn on him. And the cycle continues.