"I had a very good and easy working relationship with Dwight and enjoyed talking with him about players, football, opposing teams and our draft preparations. We always had a good dialogue and a nice exchange of ideas. I assumed we would be working together again during the 2002 season, so I was surprised and disappointed to learn that he is leaving. I know this was a very difficult decision for Carmen and Dwight, but I'm sure they are doing what they feel is best for the Cleveland Browns and Dwight's family. The Clark and Davis families had developed a good relationship, and we certainly wish the Clarks the best in all their future endeavors."
Dwight Clark Resigns; Policy Spins
- Cleveland Browns Press Release
Carmen Policy may be surprised, and may say that Butch Davis is as well, but it would be difficult to find many Browns fans who were taken aback by Dwight Clark's resignation today as General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. Clark has been a member of the Browns organization since it returned to the NFL in 1999.
Reports started emerging around 4:15 this afternoon that Clark had resigned his position, as reporters were asked to attend a teleconference with Carmen Policy. During the teleconference, Policy confirmed Clark's exit and stated that Keith Kidd was let go as the team's pro personnel director.
As Policy was expressing the surprise with which Clark's resignation was recieved, Peter King at CNN/SI was busy cranking out a story that a power stuggle with Pete Garcia was at the core of the resignation. In contrast to King's story, Policy stated that Garcia will not officially take over football operations, and will instead remain as Davis' right hand man.
Another front office exec, Lal Heneghan, will have a dramatically increased role in the revised organization. Jeremy Gren and Steve Sabo will make up the pro football scouting department, and will report directly to Davis. The college scouting department will remain the same. Neither Kidd or Clark's positions will be officially filled.
In his teleconference, Policy dismissed reports of a power stuggle between Davis and Clark, stating that Clark "wanted to try something else" and characterizing Clark's exit as a "mutual decision". Here is the Browns spin on today's events from the team's Official Web Site.
Browns fans should expect that a number of different explanations, quite a number of them speculative, will be seen in print and on web sites over the coming days. What is clear from my vantage point is that what we all suspected is now official: This is Butch Davis' team. His era has begun, and the expansion era is over.
(This report based in large part from this post from David Carducci in the Ask the Insiders forum.)
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