The Cleveland Browns have completed their personnel staff for the 2014 season, according to General Manager Ray Farmer. Since this was Farmer's first year as the GM, he had to re-tool the staff a bit from Michael Lombardi's reign.
"Assembling this group is an important step for our team," Farmer said in a statement. "These individuals operate out of the spotlight, but their work is critical to our success. And contrary to what some may think, scouts work 12 months out of the year. Their families sacrifice a lot, and I appreciate all the days scouts spend away from home. Our simple philosophy is to identify and acquire players who can return winning football to our loyal fans. We’re committed to building our roster through the draft, developing that talent once it’s here, and retaining it. Each of these people is central in that process."
In total, six new additions were announced: Charles Bailey, Bobby DePaul, Mike Hagen, Ron Hill and James Kirkland were named senior personnel associates, while Scott Aligo was named a player personnel associate. In addition, three personnel members received promotions: Sam DeLuca and Harrison Ritcher to player personnel associate, and Colton Chapple to BLESTO scout.
A couple of weeks ago, we already reported the additions of Hagen and Hill, so let's touch on the other new guys briefly:
- Charles Bailey was the Assistant GM to Bill Kuharich and VP of Football Operations with the Saints in 1999, so there's your Browns connection. He's also had plenty of work with the Jaguars and the Steelers.
- Bobby DePaul has spent a lot of time with the Philadelphia Eagles, but was also the pro personnel director for the Chicago Bears from 2001-09.
- James Kirkland was a Browns area scout from 2004-2007, and was the team's assistant director of pro personnel from 2007-2010. He has since spent some time with the Bears and the Titans, but is now back in Cleveland.
- Scott Aligo has two connections: he was a player personnel assistant with the Chiefs from 2005-2009, where he got some time in with Ray Farmer, and he also was a defensive assistant with Texas A&M for two years, where he had to be familiar with some guy named Johnny Manziel.