At his introductory press conference, Jackson said he’s made no such decisions and will make a football evaluation of Manziel. Manziel has made more waves in two seasons for his non-football decisions than his play, but Jackson said he “wasn’t here to be a part of that. I can’t speak to any of those things. Most important is I evaluate him as a football player.
“I need to get in this building and have an opportunity to sit down and watch tape. I don’t know Johnny personally.”
Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is about to play in his ninth straight Pro Bowl, and Jackson will be his sixth head coach. Thomas previously expressed some uncertainty about wanting to go through another transition period with the Browns, who almost traded him last October.
Jackson called Thomas “one of the best left tackes in the NFL, bar none” and said he “can’t wait” to talk with Thomas about his feelings and the organization.
“I hope he’ll be excited about being here,” Jackson said.
Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is soon eligible to apply for reinstatement from a suspension of at least a year. He remains under his rookie contract with the Browns, and Jackson gave a similar non-answer — “we’ll see if he’s the right fit for the organization — when he was asked about Gordon.