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John Dorsey: 'What have we done? We won 7 games.'

INDIANAPOLIS -- One year ago Thursday, John Dorsey took the same podium inside the same building and faced a similarly sized group of reporters.

The nature of those questions, though, couldn't be more different as Dorsey looks ahead to his second full season as general manager with the Browns. That's what happens when you change the roster and, ultimately, the direction of the franchise the way Dorsey has in the past 365 days.

Cleveland -- through a series of trades, free agent signings, draft picks and shrewd scouting -- turned over 60 percent of its roster by the time the season opener rolled around. Most importantly, the Browns found their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, the biggest missing piece that had alluded the franchise for decades.

Yes, there's been progress -- major progress -- but as Dorsey reiterated at every opportunity Thursday, there's just so much more to accomplish.

"Everybody feels good but what have we done? We won seven games. That's still not a winning record in my eyes," Dorsey said. "We want to be competitive in the AFC North year in and year out. Now what we have to do is we've almost done our plan, let's see if we can stay true and stay consistent with that plan and go into the start of the league year."

Both Dorsey and coach Freddie Kitchens, over the course of two days of interviews, were reluctant to identify specific areas where the Browns plan to attack in free agency and the draft because they believe the team needs to be better at every position. The heavy lifting was done throughout the previous offseason, but there are a number of moves left to make.

The 17th pick and the nine other selections Cleveland holds in the upcoming draft don't draw the same kind of attention last year's No. 1 and No. 4 picks did, but they're just as important for the Browns to get to where they ultimately want to be.

"You want to be able to acquire as many good players as you can," Dorsey said. "First you have to identify from an overarching need position what on your team, what are the biggest needs to help the team because the team is basically 53 players, not one person, but that (quarterback) is very important. Then you try to build under the guidelines of the 53. Are there pieces on the defense you need to get fixed? Are there pieces on offense you need to get fixed?

"These are the type of discussions you have on a day-to-day, a week-to-week basis to try to put that plan in place moving forward for 2019, when the league year starts."

With free agency set to open in just a couple of weeks, the Browns, with one of the largest amounts of available salary cap space, are poised to spend as much as any team in the league. It just doesn't mean they will.

Winning as many games as possible is the paramount goal for 2019 and every season that follows. Dorsey, though, stressed his decisions have to be measured because a deal or two in 2019 can affect the team in the years that follow.

"Every year you want to win. That's the overarching goal," Dorsey said. "I'm not going to go out and waste a bunch of money because I have to think three and four years down the road. I just can't think with the immediate future.

"We have a young, talented team. Let's build a foundation here. Let's build a team of substance. We're not done yet in terms of getting this thing right."

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