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2020 NFL Draft

John Dorsey's on-the-clock call to Colts GM Chris Ballard gets short response: 'I'm working'

John Dorsey has more than a few friends in NFL circles, but one carries a more special, informal title: Brother.

While they aren't blood-related, they might as well be for all the time they spent turning around the same organization not too long ago. Dorsey and current Colts GM Chris Ballard were once Nos. 1 and 2 in charge in Kansas City, where they helped transform the Chiefs from a two-win outfit to a perennial contender for the AFC crown.

Ballard left first for Indianapolis' vacant general manager position, in early 2017. Dorsey, as we all know, landed in Cleveland less than a year later.

The two completed a deal during the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft that allowed the Browns to move up three spots (from 49 to 46) to select LSU cornerback Greedy Williams. But what we didn't know until Wednesday was Dorsey was on the phone with Ballard earlier in the round -- for about two seconds.

While Ballard's team was on the clock and the GM was in the midst of making a trade with Washington team president Bruce Allen, Dorsey decided to give him a ring. Ballard's response?

He picked up the phone, said "I'm working," and hung up.

"John's like a brother," Ballard said during an episode of the Colts' video series With The Next Pick. "Every year during draft day, when we get on the pick, I usually get this call from Dorsey, and I always know that if it's on the pick, that it's usually he's joking and trying to get me riled up during the middle of trying to make a decision."

It's a fun little quirk among friends who now hold powerful positions in professional football.

"I think the biggest thing is you've got to have fun," Browns assistant general manager Eliot Wolf said Thursday during an appearance on Cleveland Browns Daily. "We spend countless hours in a dark room watching football in silence and you develop these relationships with guys on other teams. I was doing the same thing to the Green Bay guys when they were on the clock because they had two 1s. It's just kind of how we were raised doing that to each other."

That friendship pays dividends, such as the trade later in the second round. The Browns and Colts are also spending two days practicing jointly in August before clashing in a preseason game.

If the Colts -- who came on strong in the latter portion of the 2018 season, made the playoffs and defeated the AFC South champion Houston Texans -- are any indicator of what's to come, there will be more opportunity for Dorsey to rile up Ballard in future Aprils.

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