Joe Haden on Browns CB Justin Gilbert: He's growing up

After acknowledging in December that he "messed up" his rookie season, Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert vowed to "work a lot harder" to make good on his first-round draft pedigree.

Last year's No. 8 overall pick has kept his word, recently flying to Miami to work out with fellow Browns cover man Joe Haden.

"He is growing up," Haden told the team's official website. "Justin's a very, very talented player. It's just going to take a little bit of time."

Gilbert said Haden has been helping him in more ways than one after an ugly debut campaign that saw him benched early in the year for fourth-rounder Pierre Desir and the undrafted K'Waun Williams.

"We talk about plays, talk about things off the field, what I need to do to get better," Gilbert said. "And how to carry yourself like a pro."

Gilbert's words are encouraging after what we heard at the combine, where coach Mike Pettine issued curious comments about the cornerback's "personal issues" before general manager Ray Farmer spoke in hazy terms, saying that you "learn more information about a player" the closer you get to him.

Gilbert's failed campaign put plenty of pressure on a Browns front office that also saw Johnny Manziel crash and burn with a vengeance. If the young cornerback can bounce back in 2015, it would serve as a major boost for a Haden-led secondary that finished the season as the eighth-ranked unit in the NFL.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the LeSean McCoy-Kiko Alonso trade and what it means for the Eagles and Bills. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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