When Myles Garrett first came into the league in 2017 as the number one draft pick, brought in by the Cleveland Browns, one of the first things he let known was that he planned to make every game against the Pittsburgh Steelers hell for Ben Roethlisberger.
He has made good on becoming one of the best edge rushers in the league, and has certainly had individual success going against the Steelers, including some sacks against Roethlisberger, and a helmet to the head of Roethlisberger’s backup.
Monday’s game will likely mark the final start for the 18-year veteran at home at Heinz Field, and it will just so happen to come against the Browns. Garrett hopes to make it a memorable send-off for the 39-year-old quarterback, who just recently for the first time acknowledged publicly that this most likely will be his curtain call.
“It has been a back and forth”, Garrett said of his relationship with Roethlisberger over the years. “Always having good interactions and good gamesmanship when we are out there. I am trying to do my thing and shut down the game on my side of the ball, and him trying to get the ball off and get it off quick so I can’t do that. I like the challenge of it going against a guy of his caliber and a guy of his prestige. I will just try to keep it cordial and send him off with a bang”.
The last time these two sides played, Garrett had a field day working against rookie left tackle Dan Moore Jr., who wasn’t provided a ton of help throughout the afternoon, yet the Steelers still came out on top. He got a lot of pressure, as well as one sack, and he’s surely hoping to add a few more. But he’s also ready for the next challenge.
“I will miss his presence in the game, but as far as going against him and the rivalry against him versus us, no, I will not miss that”, Garrett told reporters of going against Roethlisberger. “I will be looking forward to new things, new challenges, new quarterbacks and new people to put in the front yard”.
He is referencing his Halloween decorations earlier this season, which featured cardboard ‘tombstones’ representing each quarterback that he had sacked over the course of his career. On Halloween day, he also wore a cape listing the name of each quarterback he had sacked.
He currently sits tied for third in the NFL this season with 15 sacks, a career high, behind only the Steelers’ T.J. Watt at 17.5 and the Bears’ Robert Quinn, who has quietly amassed 17 (including 10.5 in just the past six games).
But like Watt, Garrett has also been nursing an injury, in his case a groin, leaving both of them ineffective in comparison to their norm. It remains to be seen if the Steelers will tweak their plan in blocking him this time around.