Skip to main content


Dawg Pound Journal: Taylor Gabriel training to take next step as big-play WR


The uproar about rookie receivers in 2014 rightfully was about Odell Beckham's one-handed catches for the Giants and Mike Evans' impossible-to-defend size for the Buccaneers. 

But in arguably the most important statistic for a receiver, yards per catch, there stood Browns rookie Taylor Gabriel, ranking third in the entire NFL (17.3). Only DeSean Jackson of the Redskins and Michael Floyd of the Cardinals averaged more.

For a passing attack that ranked near the bottom in the league, Gabriel's 36 catches for 621 yards habitually created seismic waves in the offense when it needed a jolt. 

"I wasn't shocked with my play on the field, I was shocked that I got the opportunity to go out and play as much as I did," said Gabriel, an undrafted free agent out of Abilene Christian. "Right now, I'm just hungry and I want more of a role. I feel like I can dominate other defenders."

Relaxation in the offseason has not been a priority for the 24-year-old Gabriel. Every Tuesday and Thursday, his hours are spent with trainers on youth football fields in Dallas.

In the video below, Gabriel demonstrates how he's been working on his hips to be more fluid in and out of his routes. Footwork has also been a priority, allowing the receiver to adjust his routes more soundly if he gets jammed at the line. Yoga and Pilates have been added to his regimen, too, in order to strengthen his core when absorbing tackles.

The goal? Gabriel wants more on his plate. He thinks those 621 yards are just the beginning. So if he fine-tunes his body and technique, the Browns will be inclined to throw him more footballs.

"I look at how Antonio Brown and Steve Smith can take over a game. I love that. I know that I have that same ability where I can do that throughout a full 16-game season," Gabriel said. "I'm just ready to show it."

Believe it or not, Gabriel actually had better rookie statistics than the 5-foot-9 Smith and the 5-foot-10 Brown, combined.

Steve Smith


Carolina Panthers

10 catches

154 yards

Antonio Brown


Pittsburgh Steelers

16 catches

167 yards

Even though the pair of receivers Gabriel hopes to become play for division rivals, the two undersized receivers are dynamic game-changers.

Let's not put a ceiling on Gabriel. If Cleveland's passing game improves, there's no reason to think Gabriel's numbers won't also keep climbing up the mountain.

Three interesting NFL headlines

What we wrote on Monday

Mike Pettine says Browns No. 1 offseason goal? Make the defense elite. Read More

Quick hitting notes on Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, 2015 QB class. Read More.  

Cleveland Browns host Black History Month panel discussion. Read More.

Ray Farmer and Pettine reveal their favorite questions to ask at the combine. Read More.

Browns optimistic Alex Mack will be a "full go" at training camp in July. Read More.

Browns social media post of the day

No matter what I realize there will always be doubters can't lose sleep over it. I always keep God first through it all. They will see! — Tashaun J. Gipson SR (@Gipson_duos24) February 23, 2015

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content