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Robert Griffin III leaves positive impression on Hue Jackson

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Honest, humble and accountable.

That's the way Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson portrayed Robert Griffin III after the Browns brought the former Washington Redskins quarterback in for a two-day visit last week.

Jackson spent an hour meeting the media at the AFC coaches breakfast, and much of the discussion turned into his personal evaluation of Griffin.

The more Jackson talked, the more he seemed intrigued by Griffin, the second overall pick in the 2012 draft who has struggled the last two years. The more it seemed he was intrigued, the more it seems the possibility of adding Griffin might just be realistic.

"I think he humbled himself a little bit," Jackson said of Griffin. "Know that he has a lot of work to do ahead of him to get himself back to where he was. But I think he’s willing to do the work. He’s trying to find a football team that’s the best fit for him.

"We’ll see how that unfolds."

Unfolds is the key word. Jackson said the Browns are not about interviewing and signing quickly. Instead, they are about research and information.

"You asked me a bunch of questions, so I answered them and so everybody believes I like him -- I do. He's a good young man," Jackson said. "But to me we're still in our process. We're not going to just jump on the table and just go do something to do it. We have to weigh all the factors here."

The Browns seem to be the team most interested in Griffin, though. Griffin visited the Jets, but New York's interest seems tepid. Denver has at least acknowledged some interest.

However, Ryan Fitzpatrick remains on the free agent market, and San Francisco has to decide if it will pay Colin Kaepernick his $11.9 million in guaranteed money on April 1. If Kaepernick goes, Griffin might fit with Chip Kelly's 49ers offense. But if Griffin is smitten with Jackson and vice versa, the Browns could move on the guy they tried to trade for in 2012.

"Our visit was very informative," Jackson said. "A lot of dialogue back and forth. A lot of tough questions asked, a lot of tough questions answered. I don't baby people. I'm sorry. That's just not who I am.

"I ask the tough questions and I expect to get the tough answers, and he handled all that extremely well. At the same time, nothing is decided or anything, but I felt better about him because he answered some questions that I had and I think he represented himself the right way."

That included Griffin telling Jackson why things didn't work out in Washington.

"I heard the truth," Jackson said. "I mean, he takes responsibility. He knows there's things he could have done better. And that's where he is. To me that showed the humbleness. Because that's what it's all about. In this league you don't grow if you don't admit that you've made some mistakes."

Jackson shrugged off Griffin's last productive season being four years ago, saying it is an advantage that he's played. He added it was vital for Griffin to admit his shortcomings with the Redskins.

"I think he's in a great place right now," Jackson said. "I think he wants to play. I think he understands he's talented enough to play, and I think he knows there's some things he needs to fix and I think he's willing to do that. I think he knows there are some things he could've done better and I think he wants to take on whatever challenge lies ahead, however it unfolds for him."

The coach and the team insist that signing Griffin would not keep them from drafting a quarterback. Competition, Jackson said, should not scare Griffin or the rookie.

"If a guy is afraid of competition, then you have the wrong guy anyway," Jackson said.