After delivering his end-of-year press conference and meeting with each member of the Browns' roster earlier this week, head coach Hue Jackson said he'd take some time to decompress following the first winless season in franchise history.
"I'm going to get away," Jackson said Sunday following a season-ending loss to the Steelers. "I'm going to take myself away for a few days, come back rejuvenated and get ready for 2018."
When he returns, Jackson and new general manager John Dorsey will dive headfirst into what they believe to be a pivotal offseason. The Browns, armed with the first and fourth-overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, are poised to add potential game-changing players to one of the league's youngest rosters. Cleveland also holds three more picks in the first two rounds and can also inject veteran talent when free agency opens in March.
As the Browns evaluate their roster, Jackson said he expects the next few months to be a thorough, collaborative process. "I will be very involved with John that way. It's going to be ongoing. That's going to be fluid. We are going to keep working through every piece of it. I think you have to really dig into everything now," he said.
"There's nothing you can leave out of this equation. I think you have to go through it all on every player and make sure we understand exactly how this guy fits – what's the intended use? How are we going to go about placing this guy on our football team? The whole nine yards. I just think you do that at every position as you move forward, and I think John feels the same way."
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said he's encouraged by the pair's growing partnership. "I work with them every day, I sit with them every day. I see them going back and forth, I see them talking," Haslam said Sunday.
"I know they're in each other's offices constantly, I'm in two meetings a week with them where I can tell you there is one goal and one goal only and that's to turn the franchise around. They are working extremely well together. There will be give and take as we approach the draft as there always is but two football guys, they've got good football knowledge, good football backgrounds, they're off to a good start."
Dorsey, who replaced Sashi Brown as the head of the team's personnel department in December, spent the previous four seasons as the Chiefs' general manager. Dorsey, who was with the Packers for two decades before that, was named the 2013 Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America after the Chiefs posted an 11-5 season following a 2-14 finish the previous year.
In his introductory press conference last month, Dorsey described Cleveland's roster as a young one still learning and growing.
"This is the National Football League. This is hard to win week in and week out and sustain week in and week out. It is a matter of doing the little things. To me, I like the roster here. I like that the roster will be developing more and more in '18 and '19. I look forward to that. I look to acquire even some other players, as well, to sustain that. I think the objective is to make your roster as competitive as you can from the bottom up. Get some good guys at the top there, but as long as you can create competition amongst all of those positions, that's going to bring out the best in all players."
Dorsey and Jackson will work together to make that happen.
"We have a heck of a challenge in front of us," Jackson said. "But I think we have the right people in place to get the job done."