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Justin Gilbert has a taste for kickoff return duties

justin gilbert AP

Browns first-round cornerback Justin Gilbert has speed to burn, and a taste for the end zone.

Gilbert told reporters at Browns OTAs that he was lobbying for return duties in addition to his spot on defense, and the idea of getting his hands on some kicks was appetizing.

“There is nothing like taking one to the house,” Gilbert said, via Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I tell a couple of my teammates, ‘It’s like your Mama’s cooking, it’s finger lickin good.’”

Gilbert averaged 26.3 yards per return and returned six kickoffs for touchdowns at Oklahoma State, setting a Big-12 record. While it’s a bit of a risk for a top-10 pick, Gilbert’s lobbying hard.

“It’s something I love doing,” Gilbert said. “I love to have the ball in my hands whether it’s returning kicks or, if I don’t get to return kicks, getting it by returning interceptions and getting touchdowns.”

The Browns could use whatever shot of energy they can find in special teams, so it’s worth exploring. Gilbert certainly has the kind game-breaking speed required, so it’s understandable why they might listen to him.

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10 Responses to “Justin Gilbert has a taste for kickoff return duties”
  1. youtubeingravenvids says: Jun 4, 2014 12:47 PM

    I love this kid. And I’m a Ravens fan. I seriously do hope he does great though.

  2. Eli Pacheco says: Jun 4, 2014 12:47 PM

    Let the kid return kicks. It’s like not driving a car because you don’t want it to depreciate in value. Why buy it then?

  3. gf2711 says: Jun 4, 2014 1:12 PM

    “And I have a taste for ribs” – Andy Reid

  4. ragnarthemagnificent says: Jun 4, 2014 1:29 PM

    Why not teach him to run a couple routes and throw him out there in the slot for a couple plays?

  5. corvetteman6 says: Jun 4, 2014 1:43 PM

    Perhaps what Gilbert dreams of will come true. After all, the Browns only playmaker for the longest time was Cribbs back there, running back kick offs and punts.
    But more likely than not, he will come back down to earth once he’s had his bell rung on a return at the NFL level.

  6. joemammy says: Jun 4, 2014 1:48 PM

    This kid is a perfect example of how Ray Farmer schooled the entire league in the 2014 draft.

  7. clebrowntown says: Jun 4, 2014 2:10 PM

    My money is on Pierre Desir getting reps at WR way before they let Gilbert do any punt or kickoff returns.
    Gilbert is hopefully going to be just to valuable to put out there on special teams. Now if Gilbert bites it big as a CB then you’ll see them put him out there on special teams but…

  8. kosarkid says: Jun 4, 2014 2:15 PM

    Travis Benjamin looked pretty good last year in his punt return duties.

  9. kwjsb says: Jun 4, 2014 2:49 PM

    Why risk Gilbert if Benjamin is healthy?

  10. barkhardandloud says: Jun 4, 2014 3:38 PM

    Because Benjamin wont make the cut. So, This is the reason Crowell was signed.. Crowell is going to be the Browns Cribbs 2.V

    Blazing speed and wreckless abandonment when he runs the ball. He Can also be the gunner on Kickoffs, just as Cribbs was..

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