BEREA, Ohio -- New Cleveland Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert is confident in his abilities on the football field, and plans on adding both that confidence and those skills to a secondary with two Pro Bowlers, cornerback Joe Haden and safety Donte Whitner.
"It's all about confidence when playing this position, not giving up the big play and having a short-term memory," Gilbert said. "If you give up a big play, you've got to put it in the back of your head and be ready to make a play on the next drive. Having a short-term memory at this position is big. It's something you've got to have."
That type of confidence he has while playing "on the island" against wide receivers is exactly what Gilbert sees in his fellow first-round pick, and brand-new teammate, quarterback Johnny Manziel.
"I think cornerbacks and quarterbacks are great, quality players on each team, so if you can get those guys early, that's something you should do," Gilbert said. "That's something we did here. We were able to get Johnny too, so that's just a blessing. A lot of teams are trying to style their play after the Seahawks last year, and I think that's going to be something we're able to do here.
"I told (Manziel) walking in that it's a good thing he's here with me now because that takes all the pressure off of me. I was on my way back to the hotel and heard his name. I think my mom told me that we had Johnny Manziel, so I let down the window and started screaming, 'Cleveland Browns! Cleveland Browns! We're here!' I'm excited to be on his team and expect nothing but the best from him."
The Browns know all about confident cornerbacks, as they drafted another one in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Pro Bowl defensive back Joe Haden, out of the University of Florida.
Gilbert plans on picking the brain of Haden as much as he can, both on the field and in the film room.
"I'm going to just learn from the older guys," Gilbert said. "Joe Haden's awesome. He's an awesome cornerback, a Pro Bowl cornerback. He's a guy that I can learn a lot from, so I'm just going to come in and not try to do too much, study film, do what I need to do to get done here to help the team be a better defense."
Gilbert said Browns coach Mike Pettine was very honest about his expectations for the cornerback position, and cannot wait to hit the field and meet those goals.
"He told me it was going to be a lot of man (coverage), and they were looking for a guy who could play press-man and run receivers down, and make plays on the ball," Gilbert said of his meeting with Pettine. "I think I'm a perfect fit here."