BEREA, Ohio -- Myles Garrett is not one to shy away from lofty expectations, and the Cleveland Browns could be the beneficiary of that.
After being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Garrett wants to set sack records during his NFL career, and more importantly, is committed to putting in the work necessary to succeed on Sundays after a standout three-year career with the Texas A&M Aggies.
“I have some pretty lofty goals for myself,” Garrett said at his introductory press conference. “I do not really listen to anyone else’s expectations. I keep myself grounded with my family and my friends. They also help me keep my head straight and keep focused.
“I am not worried about a mistake or a negative comment anybody else wants to make. I have the best I could ever dream of right now. If I could just maintain my focus and keep working hard on the field, it will stay that way.”
Cleveland Browns to select DL Myles Garrett with No. 1 overall pick
Garrett’s first regular-season game for the Browns will be at FirstEnergy Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 10, and he would love nothing more than putting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the receiving end of his first tackle behind the line of scrimmage in the NFL.
“He is my first target and I have been watching him for a very long time growing up,” Garrett said. “I finally get to face him and scheme against him and his left tackle and the whole O-line. I know what I am going up against.
“I mean the target is on me, but the target is on everybody else, as well. I have to study my opponent, and I am sure they are keeping their eyes on me, making sure they know what I am doing, but I am coming up. I am going against one of the best ever in Joe Thomas. I will be well prepared for everybody who is upcoming.”
In 34 games over his three years with the Aggies, 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.
“You always have to have that confidence in your mind,” Garrett said. “You don’t want to be arrogant about it, but if you prepare yourself during the offseason and every week before a game with film on your opponent and practicing hard, you should feel prepared.
“You should feel ready for the guy in front. That is not being a butt about it or arrogant. It’s just being confident that you can win every rep against the guy you’re facing against.”
In order to achieve the levels of success on Sundays that he had at Texas A&M, Garrett knows focus is key moving forward.
“That is what it is going to take,” Garrett said. “Any NFL player is going to tell you that there are some distractions off the field.
“I didn’t fall into them in the college level, so same thing: Don’t worry about all the noise outside of the field. Just worry about what you are doing, why you got here, and why these people brought you to this great franchise. That is because you can play ball.”