BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns rookie defensive lineman Myles Garrett is doing whatever is necessary to prepare himself for the start of the 2017 regular season, and that includes extra work after practice in training camp.
The No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Garrett has shown humility and hunger by running 100-yard sprints on his own following each practice session, and then, doing his rookie duty and carrying the pads of veteran players into the locker room.
“I want to be more than prepared for the games, for the preseason, for the season,” Garrett said prior to a recent practice. “I don’t want to be taken out because I’m tired or I need a breather. I want to be able to play enough snaps, and if we go on a 13, 14, 15-play drive, I’m still able to get off and play like it’s play two or three.”
Although admitting the extra conditioning can be “a little bit” exhausting, Garrett is gradually increasing the sprint work every week. Currently, Garrett is up to eight 100-yard sprints after practice.
“I've been doing them since high school,” Garrett said.
In 34 games over his three years at Texas A&M, 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.
In a career-low 10 games because of the lower-body injury, Garrett saw significant dips in productivity as it relates to tackles (33), solo stops (18) and assists (15), as well as forced fumbles (two) from the previous season, but still registered 15 tackles for lost yardage.
Despite the successes of the past, by putting in the extra work, Garrett has impressed his position coach, Clyde Simmons.
“That lets me know that he feels like he is not in good enough shape to play our defense,” Simmons said. “I know he wants to be on the field as much as possible and all of that stuff, but he has to be in great shape to play our defense. If he wants to play as many plays as he is trying to play, he has to be in great shape.”
In addition to the appreciation of the coaches, Garrett has drawn respect from his veteran teammates, who feel his work ethic is uncommon and believes it sets an important example for his fellow rookies.
“The guy wants to get better,” defensive back Jason McCourty said. “No. 1 overall pick, you never know what type of personality or what type of guy you’re going to get. And when you get a guy like that with that much talent already coming in so high, but all he wants to do is go out there and work and go out there and get better, I think that’s going to continue to grow, and not only with him.”
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