MOBILE, Alabama -- The Senior Bowl is old hat for the likes of John Dorsey, Eliot Wolf, Andrew Berry and Alonzo Highsmith, but coming together as a collective group at one of the most important pre-draft events on the schedule marks the a beginning of sorts for Cleveland's new-look front office.
Dorsey has been on the job for nearly two months while Highsmith and Wolf were added in early January. They join a player personnel group that features Berry, who has been with the Browns since January 2016 as a vice president of player personnel, and a number of scouts who have been with the for various lengths of time, some dating back more than 10 years.
"This is my first live action with the group. I've been impressed with people so far. I've enjoyed talking to them," Highsmith said. "I'm getting familiar with all the guys and we're doing a little bonding as well. As you build a scouting staff, one of the things you're always trying to do is build relationships. I want to know their family, their kids because it goes a little further than evaluation. I think it's a team process. We want to build unity amongst us.
"I believe a team that works together, wins together."
Wolf (Cleveland's new assistant general manager), Highsmith (vice president of player personnel) and Dorsey have done plenty of working and winning together, and they're hoping to experience the same in Cleveland after successful runs with the perennially-playoff contending Packers and Chiefs. They're planning to the same in Cleveland with a group that's hungry to win after the past two disappointing seasons.
Coming together as a group remains an ongoing process, but there's no doubt this past week together away from Berea was crucial toward the end goal of acquiring and drafting players who can vault the Browns back into contention.
"It's been really good," Dorsey said. "It's been a lot of communication, a lot of collaborative effort and a lot of strategic planning just to make sure we get everything in line as we move forward to the start of the league year in 2018. So far, it's gone really well. The communication has been great, and I couldn't ask for anything better."
That sentiment was echoed by coach Hue Jackson, who sat next to Dorsey throughout the practices early in the week. Dorsey has made it his charge to learn the type of players that would thrive on a Jackson-led team and go find them.
A few hours in the bleachers together is just a small glimpse of the time they've spent with each other as the offseason nears its second month.
"We do spend a lot of time together making sure that we have the same vision of what we want to accomplish here, and we do," Jackson said. "(Next) is getting to this process of evaluating players and making sure that we put the right pieces on our team. Again, it is the meshing of a relationship between GM and his staff with Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith and that group of men with myself and the rest of the coaching staff because I think that is how it works. It all has to work together.
"You all have to be pulling in the same direction to get to where we were turned, and that is the whole goal is to make the Cleveland Browns better than they have ever been."