Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Football Operations Catherine Raiche (3.1.23)


Opening statement:

“I just wanted to start by saying thank you for being here. I know I have been with the Browns for almost a year now. It was a year of firsts for me for many reasons, but I am really excited to meet you guys today and for you to be here.”


On the past year with the Browns:

“I arrived with the Browns in May. I was with the Eagles previously. I came here in this new role as assistant GM and VP of football ops. I was pregnant with my first baby. He was born midway [through training camp]. I was hoping to be there for the joint practices with the Eagles, but I missed it by a day. He was born Aug. 14. I was on [maternity] leave for a portion of the season and got back Week 10.”


On when she built a relationship with Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry and her first impressions of Berry with the Eagles:

“I joined the Eagles in 2019, and he was my direct supervisor so really quickly we built a great relationship. What was great about my role at the Eagles was Andrew was really involved in everything helping (Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Howie (Rosman). I got to get a glimpse of everything as I grew and developed in my role. One of the great things about Andrew is if you do a good job, he is going to keep giving some stuff to you, trusts you and empowers you, which really allowed me to grow super quickly and learn a ton.”


On how the opportunity with the Browns developed:

“Really, the opportunity came when (Vikings General Manager) Kwesi (Adofo-Mensah) got the job in Minnesota. Obviously, his role was open at the Browns. They went through the official process of requesting permission and all of that stuff. At that point, we started the process, had our conversations and then felt like it was a good fit for me to take on that new responsibility and join the Browns.”


On if she feels ready to become a GM, citing Berry’s recent praise of her, and excited to potentially become the NFL’s first female GM:

“I am excited in this role to be honest with you. I am excited to be with the Browns. I learn daily. I am eager to learn. I feel you are never done with learning. That is one of the things I think is very important. I am really focused right now on helping the Browns and contributing to the success of this team. What comes and what opportunity comes, I am excited for it, too. Quite frankly, I have never really thought about my next job. I have always focused on the one I currently have, and that is what has led me to great opportunities on and on throughout my career. Definitely excited for what is up for us this season.”


On her role in free agency and the draft:

“Involved in both. I am part of our senior group strategy group. Really, helping Andrew with going through film evaluations, both pro and college, and as well as all strategic planning for player acquisitions and all of the strategy that goes behind the acquisitions we are going to make in the offseason. Very involved on both of these processes.”


On how she remained connected with the team and player evaluation processes while on maternity leave:

“It is funny you ask me that. I was so responsive initially still on work stuff that Andrew almost kicked me out of one of our threads to make sure I took some time (laughter). I will say this, early on I was able to combine really both because as you guys who have kids know, newborns sleep a lot so I was able to continue to watch our tape every week. To your point about outside perspective, there is something to say for watching your game tape not being with the team and removing maybe that bias you could have in season with the ebbs and flows. It was a good perspective for me. I definitely wanted to stay connected but also take the time to be present at home, as well. Find balance there, I would say.”


On if she and Berry are similar in a lot of ways:

“I would definitely say so. I think we work really, really well together. I learn a ton from him, and I think we can also complement each other in certain areas. I like to see my job as how I can make Andrew look good and how I can take things off his plate so he can focus on all of the strategic decisions and things that he has going on. Really, I see myself as much of a help as I can be for him. I do think our personalities match really well, both as friends and as coworkers.”


On if she now feels settled into her role with the Browns:

“I definitely do feel in a much better place and settled and kind of having my routine and how I am going to balance both worlds [as an NFL executive and mother]. I will say this, they are two very demanding jobs, two full-time jobs. Definitely challenging early on just because by nature, I wanted to be involved, I wanted to stay connected and I had maybe a little bit of a hard time finding that sweet spot. As the weeks and months went on, I just have to give credit to honestly our ownership group and to Andrew for being so flexible and just giving me the ability to adjust and being able to find that spot where we both felt comfortable.”


On her son’s name:



On if it was a difficult decision to join the Browns after QB Deshaun Watson was acquired via trade last offseason:

“It was not, and the reason is I have complete trust in the due diligence and the very thorough process. Knowing how Andrew operates, I knew that anything that had gone through to get to this decision was definitely well thought of and they had left no stone unturned. For those reasons, I felt really comfortable.”


On her involvement to help with salary cap management this offseason:

“It is definitely a group effort. We all work together. I am very involved with Andrew, our senior group and our contract management group and really just making sure that we use the cap as our mechanism to manage our cash spending, really finding ways to be creative here and put a very competitive product on the field.”


On if she feels confident in the Browns’ ability to manage cap space and accomplish their goals this offseason:

“Yes. Absolutely.”


On the biggest lessons during the past two years personal and professionally:

“That is a great question, actually. Professionally for me… Actually, you know what? The way I am going to answer this question is actually going to combine both because the thing that I have learned the most is how to not feel guilty having to manage both my professional and my personal life. I think it is hard to manage that initially. The reason I say this is because you want to be at work; I am used to extremely long hours, and I want to be 100 percent at work and give it my all, but now I am a mother, as well, and I want to be able to be there for my son. I just don’t think as women in this industry we have to choose. I do think we should be able to do both. When you have the right advocates around you to help you do that, which I feel so blessed and fortunate that I do have that, we make it work. I have heard so many young women over the years tell me, ‘Hey, whenever it is time to have kids, I may have to step away. I don’t know if I can make this work.’ If I can help and show that it is possible, to me that is a big win.”


On if she would have recommended the $230 million investment in Watson if she was with the Browns during the trade process last offseason:

“It is a tough question to answer now because that is a hypothetical, and I don’t really like to go into hypothetically what I would have done in that situation. All I will say is that joining the club after this decision was made was absolutely not a concern for me. I felt really comfortable there.”


On if the team’s success is solely tied to Watson’s success moving forward:

“I would say to me, your question has a keyword in it – it is ‘team.’ The success of this team is tied to the team, and it is not just him. He is a big part of it, but there are a lot of other players and staff members. We all work together and coaches, we all work together towards the same goal. It takes everyone.”


On the Browns’ biggest need this offseason:

“We always look at it holistically. There are always areas to improve at every position group, whether that is depth or whether that is starting-caliber players. The way we really look at it is be creative in all avenues, whether that is trade, whether that is free agency, whether that is draft or whether that is undrafted free agents, just to make sure we bring as many good players as we can to put the team together.”


On the impact of Marc Trestman on her career:

“A huge impact. Marc and I missed each other with the (Montreal) Alouettes because he was the head coach there, and I joined right after he left for the NFL, but he did hire me as director of football operations at the XFL Tampa Bay Vipers. That was a really short stint. I was there only six months before Howie (Roseman) called and offered me my first opportunity in the NFL. Huge impact there just giving me a chance. I wanted to get closer to America to get into the NFL ultimately so that was a very nice stepping stone that led me to my position with the Eagles.”


On biggest takeaways from working with Roseman:

“I would say this, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if I wasn’t for everything I learned from Howie. Like how he is, amazing and excellent at his job. I learned a lot of strategies on how aggressive they are. Whether that is from contract management to player positions, they just look through every avenue to get better. They have great decision-making processes so I learned a lot about that and how he handles all of this, and I do believe that it helped me become a better executive now with the Browns and bringing some of those strategies, as well.”


On if she was involved in the process of hiring the new defensive and special teams coordinators:

“Yes, I was.”


On if she joined interviews for the new coordinators:

“Yes. I was with (defensive coordinator) Jim (Schwartz) at the Eagles so I had some familiar there, but yes, I interviewed all of our top three candidates.”


On her experience with player evaluations, given Berry cited it as a strength:

“Definitely learning from a lot of people who I was around ever since I got into the business. I was on the road a lot scouting when I was in the CFL. I consider myself a student of the game, and it is important for me to always learn. I still do this to this day and I will continue to it for the rest of my career is taking position groups every offseason, I sit in install meetings and I just listen all of the way into the fundamentals. To me, it is important to better understand what our coaches are teaching and what we are looking for so then when I do get on the road or I put the tape on, then I can know exactly what to look for and make sure that is in line with what we are looking for as a team.”


On the benefits of having familiarity with Schwartz:

“It definitely helps. I will say this, I will give credit to Jim. Jim is a really, really good talent evaluator, and he is also a clear communicator so it is always very clear what Jim is expecting and what he is looking for for his defense. That has been very helpful. Of course, the familiarity helps. There are going to be some things that are going to be similar to what he has done in the past, but there are going to be new things, as well. I think being able to have those open lines of communication and all being on the same page is something that is really important to Andrew and (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski).”


On how Schwartz `can ‘unlock’ DE Myles Garrett more:

“That is probably be a good question for Jim to be honest. I just think at the end of the day, the way his scheme is and the way he attacks a front, I just think it is going put a light on those guys’ athleticism and ability to get off the ball to be honest.”


On how many languages she speaks and how that can assist her career as the NFL becomes a more global game:

“That is a good question. I speak three. French is my first language. I would say English is second. Spanish used to be second, but I don’t practice as much anymore so I would put it third. It does help because there are more and more players that are coming in – I am thinking of (T) Matthew Bergeron  from Syracuse coming in who speaks French. His English is actually impeccable, which is surprising because he learned it when he got to college. To me, I thought was quite impressive. It does help because you can build some personal connection with some of these players who are French speaking. I haven’t met a ton who speak Spanish. (Free agent WR) JJ Arcega-Whiteside at the Eagles was one. Definitely helps, generally.”


On if she also ‘speaks analytics’:

“You have to to be with the Browns (laughter). Definitely.”


On how close the Browns roster is to being on the same level as the top contenders in the AFC:

“To be honest with you, every year we try to – I am going to give you a very obvious answer – be a championship-caliber team, and that is all we focus on in terms of putting the best product on the field. Really to answer your question, there are always areas for improvement. That is what we are focusing on this offseason, but I feel really excited and confident about what we are going to have on the field for this 2023 season.”


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