CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett made his long-awaited regular-season debut in the National Football League Sunday, and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft did not disappoint.
Despite the Browns (0-5) suffering a 17-14 loss to the New York Jets (3-2) at FirstEnergy Stadium, Garrett recorded two sacks of veteran quarterback Josh McCown for 12 lost yards with two additional hits on the one-time Browns signal-caller.
“We are all just trying to do our part,” Garrett said. “We just have to finish and make sure that we dominate every facet of the game if that’s red zone, offense, defense or special teams. I am just trying to do my part.”
PHOTOS: Myles Garrett has standout performance in Cleveland Browns' regular-season debut
Garrett talked about how much he looked forward to getting his first career sack in the NFL, and it took him all of one series to accomplish that goal in front of the home fans.
With the Jets facing a third-and-five from their own 31-yard line, McCown dropped back into the shotgun formation, but on delayed pressure after running a stunt, Garrett rushed through the line of scrimmage and collected his first NFL sack.
Garrett’s play on third down forced a Jets punt.
“It was nice,” Garrett said. “One of my teammates said that they have a book on our first sacks, but for me, I am just trying to make an impact on my team and give them the best chance to win.
“It was just a great call by (defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams) sending me inside and he jump-set me and I was able to put a move on him and make a play.”
After getting his first sack against McCown on the very first regular-season snap of his career, Garrett once again sacked the veteran signal-caller late in the second quarter.
With the Jets facing a third-and-eight from their own 16-yard line and pressure collapsing the pocket, McCown attempted to run to the left side of the formation to extend his passing lane, but Garrett broke free from the block of left tackle Kelvin Beachum and brought down the quarterback by the shoe tops, which forced another New York punt.
“Go get the quarterback,” Garrett said. “Don’t overthink it. You have studied these guys all season and what they are going to do.”
Garrett missed the first four games of the regular season because of a high ankle sprain that was suffered in the first practice ahead of the 2017 regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but made steady progress throughout the last month and was diligent enough in his rehabilitation that he returned on the short end of the original timetable of four-to-six weeks.
During the second half, Garrett appeared to be hobbled, but both he and Browns coach Hue Jackson dismissed discussion about possibly reinjuring his ankle. Instead, Garrett said that despite being “a little bit sore,” he wants an increased workload as the season continues next week in his home state of Texas against the Houston Texans.
“I always want more,” Garrett said. “I always want to make more plays and have more effect on the outcome of the game, but whatever they give me, I will take and just try to do my best.”