On the night he was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the first-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, defensive end Myles Garrett didn’t shy away from talking about his new team’s biggest rival, mentioning that he is most looking forward to taking down Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers laughed off the comments made by the rookie who hadn’t even put on pads in a NFL practice yet, but Garrett’s head coach, Hue Jackson, seems to be on his defensive end’s side.
For the first time, the media was able to watch Garrett participate in OTAs on Tuesday, and he made the most of it. After showing his speed and burst off the line, Jackson praised Garrett, much like the rookie did the night he was draft. While the team will take it easy on Garrett until the season, Jackson was very pleased with the rookie’s explosiveness.
“I’m going to make sure—I will keep saying it until I know for sure that we are totally healthy or where we need to be—there is some football that he has missed and so, we are working him back,” said Jackson following the day’s activities. “He had a good practice today. I can’t wait to watch the tape. We will get him back out there again before this OTA session is done.
“If I was a quarterback, really scared. He’s talented. I think we all know that. He has just got to continue to integrate himself within our defense and our system. He’s a very eager and willing young man. He has worked extremely hard. I think hopefully you guys saw the talent today, and we’ll keep pushing him and getting him to where he needs to be.”
There are plenty of things a good coach can teach, but those things don’t include size, burst, or will to want to improve every day and Garrett seems to have all three. Not only that, but he seems to have the talent to compete with the best of the best in the NFL. The rookie may have made the mistake of calling out his rival team’s quarterback, but now that Jackson seems to have joined in, the defensive end may just be the just as good as everyone thinks he can be. His potential is sky high and judging by what he has done so far, rightfully so.
Looking back, the Browns haven’t had a legitimate defensive end who made a career of sacking his opponent’s quarterback in quite some time. They thought Courtney Brown could be that guy, but he spent far too much of his career injured to ever develop. Imagine what an All-Pro defensive end could do in order to improve the rest of the defense. His other 10 teammates will thrive while Garrett is doing his best to knock down his opponent.
If you want to see just how Garrett can wreak havoc, be sure to look at WFNY’s Joe Gilbert’s Film Room on the No. 1 pick.
The Browns have had plenty of nightmares since their return in 1999, so it seems only fitting for Garrett to give opposing quarterbacks and offenses nightmares for years to come. Only time will tell if he can deliver.