BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns rookie defensive lineman Myles Garrett made his way to the top of the 2017 NFL Draft by being an impactful pass rusher off the edge.
But in coordinator Gregg Williams’ defense, everyone is expected to know more than one position, and for Garrett, that means sliding inside of the end spots and learning to play as an interior lineman.
“It doesn’t bother me much,” Garrett said. “I make sure to get off and I strike and I keep my head down so I don’t get washed down the line. It’s just being powerful at the point of attack.
“I did it in college as well. I’m doing it a little bit more here, but it’s fine with me.”
In Garrett’s mind, learning a second position betters the chances for him to wreak havoc in opposing backfields.
“I don’t mind it at all,” Garrett said. “It’s just more opportunities for me to make plays.”
In 34 games over his three years at Texas A&M, Garrett registered 141 total tackles, including 81 solo stops and 60 assists, with 31.0 quarterback sacks, seven forced fumbles, one recovery, five passes defended and one interception.
After having 11 and 11.5 sacks in each of his first two years at Texas A&M, Garrett registered 8.5 sacks during the 2016 season despite playing much of the year with a high ankle sprain.
In a career-low 10 games because of the lower-body injury, Garrett saw significant dips in productivity as it relates to tackles (33), solo stops (18) and assists (15), as well as forced fumbles (two) from the previous season, but still registered 15 tackles for lost yardage.
Although Garrett is no stranger to success, he knows such productivity at the NFL level will come by learning from veterans.
“I think almost all of the guys are older than me there, so I’m just trying to see what they know, picking up the things they’ve learned through their experiences in the games, and how I can just be better in my steps and the small, little details,” Garrett said.
“Communication, just listening to the offense and picking up on some of the keys, what they do and how I can get there quicker.”
The key for Garrett is “just trying to be consistent, not just showing flashes” throughout camp and in the preseason.
“Being consistently dominant on the field, that takes having a great football IQ and knowing where the plays are going and just making sure you're taking the right steps,” Garrett said. “If you know where you're going and know where the play is going, you'll be able to get there quicker.
“See ball, get ball, force fumble, make plays. You don't have to worry about whether you need to get somewhere or how difficult the defense is. Go in, just whip ass and go win.”
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