Browns first met with DePodesta in November, plus other key takeaways from Thursday

The new brain trust for the Cleveland Browns met the media for the first time Thursday with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta taking questions for over 35 minutes.

Here are 10 key takeaways:

1. DePodesta, the unconventional hire who came over from the New York Mets front office, revealed that he met with the Haslams and Brown shortly after the World Series in November. Considering that DePodesta was brought on just two days after the firings of Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine, it makes sense that there were conversations, or "quest for knowledge" as DePodesta put it Thursday, going on for months. 

2. Brown admitted that the team needs to find an established quarterback, but didn’t rule out the idea that he could already be on the roster. New coach Hue Jackson will play a pivotal role in whether or not Manziel is retained. 

3. Prior to the press conference, Brown revealed to beat reporters that Johnny Manziel was fined for missing his concussion treatment on the morning of the team’s season-ending loss to Pittsburgh, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Brown also said he didn’t know where Manziel was on that final Sunday amid reports that the quarterback was spotted in Las Vegas wearing a blond wig and fake mustache. 

4. Brown refused to comment on the infamous report that the team conducted a study of quarterbacks in the 2014 draft that concluded that Teddy Bridgewater was the best quarterback available. The Browns obviously did not heed that advice. 

5. Brown said the team will hire a vice president of player personnel rather than someone with the title of "general manager." Brown conceded that the new hire not having authority over the 53-man roster is a bit of a roadblock when recruiting candidates. More than a handful of candidates have already been interviewed, and a decision is expected within the "next week or two."

6. The front office will sit down with suspended receiver Josh Gordon if and when he is reinstated by the league to see where he is "physically and mentally" before making a decision on his roster status. In the meantime…

7. DePodesta will commute from his prime residence in California, just as he did for his five years with the New York Mets. 

8. Brown said expectations will be set for Manziel and every other player on the roster to be accountable on and off the field.

9. In light of all of the soft tissue injuries suffered by Browns players last season, a new strength and conditioning staff, with possibly a few holdovers, will be brought in under Adam Beard, director of high performance. 

10. DePodesta: "[Owners] Jimmy and Dee [Haslam] really want to do this right. They don’t want to keep changing things because they know ultimately that doesn’t lead to success."