The Cleveland Browns made Myles Garrett the number one overall draft pick last year for a reason. He was the best pass-rusher coming out of that draft class. And he has been showing it. After recording seven sacks in just 11 games as a rookie in 2017, he has nine this year through the Browns’ first 10 games.
And for the final stretch, the plan from the coaching staff is to focus more on quality over quantity. With defensive coordinator Gregg Williams now serving as interim head coach, he has even more authority to dictate how he wants to see things being done, and following the bye week, he wants to give Garrett some more time off during games.
“We saw what happened when I was out there every snap”, he told the team’s website, referring to an earlier game in the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though he actually recorded two sacks in the game, he said he was “looking like I was doing summer strength and conditioning. I was pretty dead”.
In the Browns’ first game out of the bye week, however, he played just two thirds of the snaps, though he will not always be getting that much rest. In an extreme rarity, they were actually playing with a lead, and the backup edge defenders were playing well.
Though he trained in the offseason with the intention of being on the field for every snap, he has begun to see the wisdom in getting time off and is embracing it. “Just getting some time off to rest a little bit has definitely helped me recover and get some of my speed and my strength back”, Garrett said. “We should have some good fitness going into the next six games”.
Garrett’s next test will be against the Cincinnati Bengals, and left tackle Cordy Glenn primarily. The Bengals went out and traded for Glenn this offseason after two of their young draft picks failed to earn starting jobs in their first three seasons.
According to Pro Football Focus, Glenn has only surrendered two sacks this season, but has allowed 31 total pressures, or roughly three per game, which is tied for the sixth-most in the league. And the Browns also do move him around to put him in positions to succeed.
Garret has a clear goal for himself for the remainder of the season, telling Mary Kay Cabot that he plans to make the Pro Bowl, and would even like to make a run at Defensive Player of the Year and lead the league in sacks.
“I know what the [sack] leader has, and that’s about it”, he said. “Everybody else in between that’s just like fodder. They’re ahead of me, but I’m going for the top”.