The Cleveland Browns posted their first winning season since 2007 last year. They made it to the postseason for the first time since 2002 last year. On top of all that, they won their first postseason game since 1994 last year.
While it took several regime changes, a lot of it just has to do with the accumulation of talent they’ve been able to fall into simply by being bad enough often enough to inherit those positions. Edge Myles Garrett is one of the premier talents they were able to acquire because they had the highest pick in the draft in 2017.
Garrett has indisputably had an impressive career up to this point, recording 53 career sacks, for example, in 59 games. He has recorded 10 or more sacks in four consecutive seasons, and currently leads the league with 10.5 sacks in eight games—on pace to break the single-season record.
One thing he has never shied away from is his belief in his own excellence, and he has incorporated his greatness into his Halloween plans this year. He decorated his lawn with faux tombstones bearing the names of all the quarterbacks he has sacked in his career. On Halloween, on Sunday, he traveled to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers donning a Grim Reaper costume—which also bore the names of all the quarterbacks he’s sacked.
“I didn’t take a look at it before the game. I saw it after”, Steelers veteran defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said of his opponent’s pre-game attire when he spoke to reporters yesterday, appearing with Rich Eisen. “It was cute”.
That line got Heyward a laugh, of course, though it was not meant as the trivializing barb it might appear. Asked if that bothered him, Heyward said, “No. No. I’m just kidding. To each his own. That was a cool outfit. He’s sacked a lot of quarterbacks, I’ll tell you that”.
Garrett also donned his Grim Reaper cape during his post-game press conference, following his team’s loss to the Steelers at home. He did get himself a sack of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the fifth time that he has been able to do so, to put himself into double digits on the season. And to the Browns’ defense’s credit, they did hold Pittsburgh to 15 points.
It’s just that their offense only scored 10. The Steelers were able to somewhat limit Garrett’s impact on the game, even if they didn’t give Dan Moore Jr. a ton of help at left tackle in the form of chips. Roethlisberger simply getting the ball out quickly usually sufficed.