Myles Garrett Meets with Media Following OTAs

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

On Head Coach Kevin Stefanski sharing he had retired from basketball and if that was his or Stefanski’s decision:

“I feel like it is more of a (Michael) Jordan retirement. I went to baseball/I went to basketball for a second, and now I have to go back to what I am good at and what I usually do – playing football, rushing the passer and stopping the run. Next season, you never know (laughter). I might go back to basketball and I might go play baseball and see if I can get on a team (laughter). There is more on the horizon, but right now, I have to get back to my main focus.”

On how he is feeling now after stating he had trouble breathing for a period of time after contracting COVID-19:

“I feel great. I feel the best I have since last year before COVID. It is a wonderful feeling. I feel like it was kind of a long road. Now that I am back, I am feeling well-conditioned and feeling back on my feet, the world is ahead of me.”

On if he made sure his last dunk was a good one:

“I think that last dunk was either a reverse, a double-pump or a windmill so I had to go out with a bang.”

On how important it was for him to attend today’s voluntary OTA:

“Really the D line and kind of as a defense, we decided we needed to be there to work with the younger guys, get some work in with the coaches and for everyone to be able to get on the bags, work on their technique and get on some cleats and a helmet. I know it has been awhile for some of these guys. Just being able to do that and work on your craft a little bit and work on the plays, it flows a little bit more seamless than if we were to take such a long, extended break from each other and not know each other’s tendencies and know how we are on the field.”

On if he feels the Browns might be falling behind other teams like the Chiefs who have higher in-person attendance rates at this point in the offseason program:

“Not at all. I am glad they have attendance, but just because they are getting work in at their facility does not mean that we are not working just because we are away. Our defense is getting the work in and working on their craft, just working from home. We have that freedom and that liberty. When we get to Game 1, we will see who has been gelling better and who has the upper hand.”

On his first impression of DT Malik McDowell:

“I do not know yet. He has been held out for a little bit so kind of waiting and seeing for a little bit to see how he is on the field. He seems bright. He seems very attentive to what we are doing. He likes to ask questions to Coach to make sure that when he gets back he will be ready to play so I like that about him already. I am hopeful for the guy. I am hopeful for what he can do for us.”

On what makes him feel confident about his health heading into the 2021 season after contracting COVID last year and if he has talked to DT Andrew Billings who opted out last season and also has asthma:

“I do not blame him for doing it. I have asthma, as well. That is probably why it hit me so hard. We have the vaccine and we have another year of protocols to keep our players and our staff safe. Now, I feel like it is up to us to get the job and the work done. A guy like AB (Billings), I do not think he has any worries of how he can be taken care of and he has different avenues he can take to remain healthy and keep his family safe. I am just glad that we can all get together for this time and work on getting to know each other.”

On how much more work can be done at OTAs as opposed to working out individually:

“I would not say there is a big gap between your work away or your work here. I feel like when you are away, you have to hold yourself accountable. You have to be on yourself about how good you want to be. It is about pushing yourself as far as you want to go. Here, you have people for that. They can’t want it more than you or you will never get to where you want to go. Just being able to hopefully when you are away have some friends and have some family who can help push you when you are feeling low or just keep you on the right path, that is a big thing if you are away, if you are traveling or if you are staying in another state, another country or wherever. When you are here, you have coaches and staff who are always going to have your back and keep you on the right path. When you are away, it is a little bit more risky because it is on you and it really shows your integrity to see if you have really been doing the workouts they have had or a program you had made for you. I feel like I hold myself pretty accountable, and it is paying off.”

On being motivated by seeing teammates work out on social media:

“Heck yeah. I love seeing my guys working. For me, it is I have to outwork the man I was the day before. I always have to be better. Nothing in life stays the same. You either are getting better or worse, and seeing them getting better, I want to elevate myself but be me. I know we are on the same team, but I can’t let anybody outwork me. If I can beat the man I was yesterday and try to catch him, then I can always stay one step ahead.”

On how long it will take for the Browns defense to gel with the new players:

“I think it will come together quicker than most people anticipate. I like who we have on defense. I feel like our offense has stayed pretty much the same, except for a couple of new additions. There are a lot of guys who have played some good football that we have added to our roster so I won’t be surprised if they come in here and start making plays immediately, just because that is what they have been doing. Our defense is not absolutely exotic. They come in, they are smart and they are quick as a whip, and they will be able to catch on and follow suit.”

On how his role as a leader changes on defense as the team incorporates new players:

“I just have to make sure they fall in line. We have a good thing going. Whether you are coming here from another team or are older or younger, we all have to put on the same uniform and same standard. We are all held to that same standard, and that will lead to success. I have to treat those guys like they are all one of my own, whether they have been here for as long as I have been here or they just got here on Monday. We hold each other accountable and I hold them accountable and try to get them to work as hard as me, and if they catch me when I am stumbling or I am falling, I think we will be successful.”

On if he has put on more weight this offseason, given a Steelers player said he looks even bigger now:

“I can’t tell you that. I have to leave it as a mystery to them. If he thinks I look larger than usual, I have to have him shook when I run up on him. I am glad they think that. I have been working hard. I feel like I have been trying to elevate myself every year. I have been working on my progression one or two times a day for four or five days. I think it is going to pay off big time, but I do not think I lost any speed so I do not want them to get any ideas that I am a little bit slower because that is not the case.”

On the person in his viral basketball video who tried to defend his dunk and if he was surprised the person did not try to get out of the way:

“When I looked at him when he was on the ground, what was going through my head was, ‘What were you thinking? I know you did not think you were going to go up there and get that.’ (laughter) He must have wanted to be in the highlight or he saw the video and wanted to be a part of it somehow. He made the video.”

On takeaways from OTAs as a veteran:

“Just getting to adjust to each other. Where we are at in location to each other, our calls and even how we pronounce things, sometimes guys do not understand the call from a linebacker to the D line or from DTs to D ends or vice versa. Just being able to hear each other and understand each other’s voices and tendencies, you can go out there like, ‘He is always going to be a high-energy guy. Got that. I am going to have to match that or exceed it. He is always going to be the hard worker and he is always going to lead so I have to meet him there.’ Stuff like that. You have to be able to know that coming into the season or to camp so when that stuff starts happening and when the bullets start flying, you do not panic. It is just ‘I know that Billings guy. I know how he is going to react so I think we are all good.’”

On how frustrating it was to miss part of last season with COVID-19 when he was in the thick of his Defensive Player of the Year campaign and how COVID impacted him:

“It sure did. It hurt, too. I do not know. As far as getting off the ball, I did not feel like I was getting off the ball a little slower. Athletically, I felt like I had. Condition-wise, I felt like I was 50 percent. I do not think I have ever had to use oxygen so frequently and so early into a game like Tennessee. I do not think I had a huge amount of snaps. I was like hanging on. Once you get tired and once you start losing the play so you are trying to think of what you are supposed to do here. If you are thinking about what you are supposed to do here and you can’t think about the alternatives or the options off that or off of the pass rusher moves or the rip and release for run blocks. Once you are just trying to remember the play, you are not thinking about running calls with your DTs, things start to slip and then you are not thinking about alternatives you can do with your hands. You start to just rely on one move. All of that stuff just starts to weigh on you so I am just trying to get my conditioning back and I am fighting through that when I get into games and to practices. I had like a quarter or maybe a quarter and a half and then I was honestly empty in the tank, and I do not think I have ever been like that. To not feel like that is great. I am glad I have recovered. Hopefully, nothing happens like that to me or anyone else.”

On the Browns players sharing a collective statement about not participating in voluntary offseason workouts and what may have changed since then:

“I was on board. I saw a lot of guys are in different places doing their own thing. It is all about being comfortable. When you are working and you are grinding, you want to get out of your comfort zone, but you can’t get to that point where you want to do that if you are not comfortable with where you are. I have no problem with guys being somewhere they feel at peace with their mental health and mental stability and where they feel like they are in a good place with their family and they can give their all. I was completely on board with how the guys felt and where they wanted to stay. For us, we got back and we got some work, and we did not lose out on anything. We were still able to communicate, get in on Zoom calls and still get in on meetings. Nobody was just losing as far as the playbook, and we were not losing out on meetings with coaches.”

On if C and NFLPA President JC Tretter is comfortable with players participating in voluntary offseason workouts:

“Yeah. He views it as our choice. It is not like we have been here the whole time. We came in and we wanted to get some work in together, and that is what they have been doing. They have been getting some work in together; it has just been away from the building. I do not think they are working any less hard than we are. It is just different players feel like getting in one place with the rookies and the younger guys and everybody in the same building. That had not happened so we liked to make that happen for a little bit so they could get adjusted. The offensive guys they are mostly intact and one group that stayed the same pretty much. Defensive guys, we feel like we had to start a little bit earlier. I think it is going to work well for us.”

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content