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Quoting Mike Tomlin, Myles Garrett Reacts To Jadeveon Clowney’s Absence: ‘Volunteers, Not Hostages’

Let’s just say it’s a safe bet Myles Garrett’s heard a handful of Mike Tomlin interviews. Cleveland Browns’ DE Jadeveon Clowney was sent home by the team Friday after criticizing the team in an interview with Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. Now likely having played his final down in Cleveland, Garrett was asked to react to the Clowney news. He invoked a Tomlin-ism in his response.

“Volunteers, not hostages,” he said via Cabot. 

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

In the interview, Clowney took swipes at Garrett, accusing the Browns of playing favorites and focusing on ways to create good matchups for Garrett instead of himself. Garrett might not be too popular in Pittsburgh but he remains one of football’s best pass rushers. Clowney isn’t. So it doesn’t take Bill Belichick to figure out which player is going to be schemed more in this defense.

As for Garrett’s response, it’s a line Mike Tomlin’s used many times before. One that began during Le’Veon Bell’s holdout in 2018, sitting out the season during a contract dispute. Before a game against the Baltimore Ravens, Tomlin was asked about Bell’s status. Tomlin then used one of the phrases he’s become known for.

“We need volunteers, not hostages. We’re focused on the guys who are here.”

It’s a line Tomlin’s repeated over the years for players not happy with their role or status. It’s the same he used for Melvin Ingram after the Steelers signed and then traded him away to Kansas City weeks later.

“Melvin no longer wanted to be here and for us, we prefer volunteers as opposed to hostages,” Tomlin said in a presser shortly after the trade.

With the Browns’ season over and Clowney headed to free agency, it seems doubtful he’ll play in this finale against the Steelers. Cleveland’s front seven will be missing yet another piece and plays into Pittsburgh’s hands of running the ball and controlling the game on the ground.

As for Garrett, his Browns’ team will look for volunteers this offseason, adding pieces to fix another broken season. Garrett himself will have lots of times to volunteer, too. His team has no plans after this weekend.

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