INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – When the Browns named Andrew Berry vice president of player personnel on Jan. 27 everyone in Cleveland said, “who?” and then they googled his name.
Berry, a former cornerback and Harvard graduate, was a virtual unknown in Cleveland, but in Indianapolis behind the scenes he was a vital piece to a front office that constructed a team that won four AFC South titles, made five postseason appearances and advanced to Super Bowl XLIV.
The ascension of Berry up the NFL’s ranks is not a surprise to Colts general manager Ryan Grigson.
“You don’t have to look much further than the fact that someone 28 years old has been put in that position. He’s obviously a talent,” Grigson said in an interview with 92.3 The Fan at the NFL Combine. “I think who he is as a human being supersedes all of his intelligence and his abilities as a decision maker.”
Berry started with the Colts as a scouting assistant in 2009 and was elevated to pro scout less than 24 months later. He was promoted to pro scouting coordinator the very next year. Now he will serve as executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown‘s right hand man top help oversee the Browns’ personnel department.
“He’s elite when it comes to intelligence,” Grigson said. “He’s extremely loyal, driven, hard-working and I think he’s got a toughness about him that’s not really perceived until he gets put in a situation where he has to be, and he can be very strong and I’ve seen it.
“The world is going to be his oyster because he’s got all the traits to be an outstanding personnel man in this league.”
When Grigson took over in 2012 as the Colts general manager, it didn’t take him long to notice Berry’s football acumen.
“He was someone that was living in California as a scout and I recognized his abilities, brought him in-house and promoted him,” Grigson said. “I promoted him a couple of times and he has been very grateful.”
Berry’s role wasn’t just limited to scouting or paperwork. Grigson opened the door for Berry to see the entire workings of the front office from top to bottom, preparing him perfectly for his new job with the Browns.
“I let him into the entire process at about every level,” Grigson said. “He was involved in a lot of decisions. He was in the fire with me a lot and he learned a great deal and he’s very grateful for that fact. But I’m also indebted to him for his loyalty and for the way he conducted himself and helped me in the process to help us win 44 games.”