The Cleveland Browns have a large group of diehard fans who make it a point to know everything there is to know about the players on the team. They know the past stats, situational stats, heights, weights and colleges of virtually every member of the roster. Some fans go even further and make it a mission to also know details about the coaching staff.
One thing is certain: sports fans love to be in the know. Even with all of the research and memorization happening, though, the front office is still mostly overlooked. Perhaps it is because getting Cleveland Browns tickets doesn’t mean seeing these faces. Below is a little about some of the names in Cleveland’s front office.
Tom Heckert, Jr., General Manager: Even those who keep up with everything Browns may not know a lot about Heckert yet. Heckert joined the Browns in January 2010, but he has extensive experience in the league. He played defensive back at Hillsdale College in Michigan, where he was later an assistant coach. He moved to the NFL and worked for the Miami Dolphins for a decade as a pro and college scout. By 2000, he had worked his way up to the Dolphins’ Director of Pro Personnel. He transitioned to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2001 as their Director of Player Personnel and he became their General Manager in 2006.
Jon Sandusky, Director of Player Personnel: Football is in Sandusky’s blood, seeing as he is the son of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Heckert and Sandusky have worked together closely in the past. Sandusky was the Director of Pro Personnel for the Eagles before joining the Browns, and he also held positions as a pro scout and intern with the Eagles. He played safety for Penn State from 1996 to 1999.
Pat Roberts, Director of College Scouting: Roberts played offensive guard at DePauw University in Indiana, where he also got his coaching start. He was the running backs coach in 1995 and coached the offensive line in 1996 and 1992. His next position was as the strength coach and offensive line coach for Millsaps College in Mississippi in 1998. That same year, he started a long stint with the Chicago Bears. While with the Bears, he served as their Northeast Area Scout and Southeast Area Scout. He joined the Browns in 2005.
Keith Gilbertson, Director of Pro Personnel: Gilbertson brings extensive coaching experience to the Browns’ front office. In the college ranks, he has held positions with Utah State, Idaho, Washington and Cal Berkeley. He has also coached in the USFL. In the NFL, he has held various positions with the Seattle Seahawks, like offensive consultant, assistant offensive line coach and wide receivers coach.
John Spytek, Player Personnel Executive: Spytek played linebacker in college for the University of Michigan. Like Heckert and Sandusky, Spytek also has a history with the Philadelphia Eagles. While with the Eagles, he held positions like college/pro scout and college scouting assistant. He has also worked for the Detroit Lions.
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