BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Myles Garrett might be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft but he’s not with the first team defense.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson doesn’t feel that Garrett has earned the right to work with the ones.
“Not yet,” Jackson said Tuesday.
Garrett has spent his team reps working with the second and third team defense, which is just fine with the rookie defensive end from Texas A&M.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Garrett said. “I’ve got to prove myself. I haven’t shown any kind of resume for what I can do on the NFL level, so they have to see out there. Go from level to level, from spot to spot and show that I can be successful.”
Making the top pick in the draft play his way into reps and a starting role is part of Jackson’s way of continuing to change the culture within the team and removing any sense of entitlement from the locker room.
“On this football team, as long as I’m the head coach here, then we are going to earn the right to play for this football team,” Jackson said. “Nothing is given. You have to go do your job and do it to the best of your ability.”
Up until Tuesday, Jackson had been effusive in his praise of Garret any time he’s been asked about him but that’s not a side of Jackson that Garrett gets to see behind closed doors.
“He doesn’t talk to me like that,” Garrett said. “He tells me to keep on working, that’s what I want to hear. It’s nice that he sings praises for me through the media, but I’m never satisfied and he knows that, so he’s going to keep on pushing me to be better and better each day.”
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams treats him the same way, and might even be harder on him.
“I mean, if I have 5 sacks, he’s like, ‘why didn’t you have 7?’ If you had 3, why didn’t you have 4?” Garrett said. “That’s the mentality you got to have. You can’t be satisfied with what you did today. You’ve got to be better the next day.”
So how is Garrett responding to the tough love from Jackson and Williams?
“I think he has handled it well,” Jackson said. “That is what he should be. There is an expectation not just for him but for all of our players that we need our guys to get to in order to make the next jump for our football team. He is part of that.”
Garrett, who totaled 32 1/2 sacks in 3 seasons for Texas A&M is hungry to prove himself.
“They don’t have to worry about my hunger,” Garrett said. “But, yes, it does [make me hungry]. Because at the end of the day I want to be starting. But it takes time and I’m going to put in the work.”