Pro Player Insiders Interviews Browns Rookie Wide Receiver Taylor Gabriel

On the second day of Browns training camp, Pro Player Insiders’ beat writer for the Cleveland Browns, Brandon Howard spoke with rookie wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. In the below transcription, Gabriel talks about his path to Abilene Christian University and his transition to the NFL.

Taylor Gabriel Profile


Brandon: “Tell me a little bit about how you ended up at Abilene Christian.”


Gabriel:   “The [Division-II] recruiters came to my school, and they recruited me, but they really didn’t because they felt like I was going to go Division-I. It’s a blessing that I ended up at Abilene Christian. It’s a great university with great people, and a great organization. Overall, I’m blessed to have gone to Abilene Christian.”


Brandon: “Did it end up being the qualifiers like the ACT and SAT scores that prevented you from attending a Division-I school?”

Gabriel:   “I qualified, but I qualified super late! I had offers from Division-I universities, but the score I needed came in way too late.”

Brandon: “What has been the biggest adjustment from playing Division-II football, to now playing in the NFL?”

Gabriel:   “The biggest adjustment is the talent level, and when they say no plays off, they mean no plays off.”

Brandon: “What is the biggest difference between the practices at Abilene Christian, compared to an NFL practice?”

Gabriel:   “The competition level – it pushes me to go 100 percent every time. Every time I’m doing a rep I’m going 100 percent. It’s like I’m in a game situation at practice.”

Taylor Gabriel CollegeBrandon: “What would you consider your greatest attribute?”

Gabriel:   “My greatest attribute – I would say my speed. Just my ability to maneuver stop and start, but at the same time it’s really not about what I can do, it’s about what I can do to contribute to the team.”

Brandon: “What do you feel makes you effective inside as well as on the perimeter? I believe you can play on the numbers as well as in the slot; what makes you effective at each position?”

Gabriel:   “I’m doing a lot of work outside the numbers right now, and it’s doing nothing but enhancing my game. I can play inside and I can play outside; I’m just blessed to be here and blessed to have this opportunity.”

Brandon: “What do you feel you need to continue to work on to lock down one of the roster spots with the Cleveland Browns?”

Gabriel:   “Everything! Everything!”

Brandon: “I saw you over there working on your release yesterday. What exactly were you trying to hone in on?”

Gabriel:   “Just getting a better release, because if I can get a better release, I’ll be able make the man across from me feel my speed.”

Brandon: “Was it in an effort to cover more ground when you first get off the ball? I saw you working on cutting down on wasted motion.”

Taylor Gabriel 3Gabriel:   “Oh so you know.”

Brandon: “Believe it or not, I might have played once upon a time.”

Brandon: “You’re a rookie and you’re trying to lock down one of these roster spots; have any of the veterans recognized your talent, and taken you under their wing?”

Gabriel:   “All of them have. When we watch film, they pull me to the side and tell me what to work on. Even Joe Haden has told me a few things to work on. The cornerbacks are helpful, all the wide receivers are helpful, Josh Gordon, Hawkins, everybody.”

Brandon: “I saw you on your biggest play of today’s practice. What did you see there that enabled you to split the coverage between the safety and the cornerback?”

Gabriel:   “I just saw the safety roll down, and Joe Haden on top. I recognized he was in a staggered stance, so I just tried to press him as much as I could.”

Brandon: “How frustrating was it to sit there on draft day and not hear your name called?”

Gabriel:   “It was frustrating, but it’s a blessing that I’m here and I’m really not worried about the past, I’m thinking about the future.”

Brandon: “Did any other teams call to attempt to sign you?”

Gabriel:   “I had a few other teams, but I’m a Cleveland Brown.”

Brandon: “Why did you choose Cleveland?”

Gabriel: “The coaches and the team in general were the biggest reason. It felt like they are going in the right direction. I’m just glad to be here, and have this opportunity to play football for this organization.“





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