One of the stars of the book "Moneyball" has joined the NFL

Paul DePodesta has joined the Cleveland Browns as their Chief Strategy Officer

BY Daniel Kelly 11:57 Friday 8 January 2016, 11:57 8 Jan 2016

Paul DePodesta (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Cleveland Browns are one of the most poorly run teams in American sport.

The Ohio side have failed to reach the playoffs since 2002, with their previous appearance coming in 1994. They finished this season with a 3-13 record and will have the second pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

There was shock earlier this week when they announced the signing of Paul DePodesta as their new Chief Strategy Officer. DePodesta, along with Billy Beane were two of the main inspirations for the sabermetrics book "Moneyball".

David Waldstein of the New York Times spoke to Off the Ball on Thursday night to discuss DePodesta's move from baseball to American football and how it may shake up the NFL.

"It was a very non-traditional selection... They definitely went in a unique direction. It was met with a lot of scepticism, but not from people in baseball."

American football owners and their teams have traditionally been slow to embrace statistics. DePodesta helped the New York Mets reach baseball's World Series last year.

Waldstein claims that the Browns want DePodesta to bring "a fresh look" to player recruitment. Since their last playoff appearance in 2002, they have had seven top-ten picks in the NFL Draft but have failed to find a star to base their team around.

"One thing that Paul DePodesta was part of (in baseball) was a movement to take a lot of the in-game decisions away from the manager... I think he might try and do that in the NFL as well."

DePodesta's tenure in charge of strategy may start with trying to find a new quarterback as Johnny Manziel looks set to leave the team before the start of next season.


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