The NFL and Black College Football Hall of Fame hosted their fourth annual Quarterback Coaching Summit and inaugural Ozzie Newsome General Manager Forum this week, and two key members of the Browns lent a hand and taught lessons from their area of expertise to prospective minority candidates hoping to build careers in the NFL.
Browns Vice President of Football Operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took a deep dive Tuesday into how he uses analytics to dissect the quarterback position, while defensive coordinator Joe Woods spoke Wednesday in a panel discussion about how to interview for head coaching jobs.
Other NFL representatives in the summit — hosted virtually and designed to connect current and aspiring football personnel executives and provide a platform to help prepare, educate, and identify quality minority candidates — included Bill Belichick, Andy Reid, Bruce Arians, Doug Williams, Patrick Mahomes and a plethora of other current and former NFL coaches, players and executives.
"The Ozzie Newsome General Manager Forum and Quarterback Coaching Summit are part of our ongoing efforts to break mobility barriers, establish a cultural norm of opportunity for all, and a steadfast commitment to developing a diverse and inclusive workforce," said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent Sr. "Participants will be exposed to best practices used by the brightest and most creative minds in football, as well as networking opportunities to build relationships and gain personal insights."
Adofo-Mensah's session, in particular, offered a unique glimpse into how he uses advanced statistics to grade quarterback talent. After sharing his personal story of how he rose from a trader and portfolio manager on Wall Street to working in NFL front offices with a data-driven approach to finding talent, he shared a few of the equations and metrics used by the Browns — and across other NFL teams — that provide a quantitative view to grading a quarterback's short, medium and deep ball accuracy.
"(Analytics) is about evolution, not revolution," Adofo-Mensah said. "We take this framework that has been used for years, and we're just applying it to different things. We're creating decision rules, and we're determining how those decision rules will help us in the future.
"Hope is not a strategy. There are lots of things that can occur in the future, and it's our job and obligation to study them, understand the risks and choose a course of action that will put us in a good situation no matter what happens."
Other topics covered in the summit included how to build a coaching staff and establish a winning culture, how to properly train and develop a QB and how to adequately interview and train to be an offensive coordinator.
The overall goal of the summit, however, was to help provide a platform to help minority coaching and front office candidates make their leap into the NFL. Adofo-Mensah and Woods, who are each entering their second year with the Browns, have forged their own trails in doing just that, which made them suitable candidates to speak in one of the most resourceful summits offered by the league.