CLEVELAND -- From double-digit penalties in multiple games to not executing schemes how they were intended, the Cleveland Browns had plenty of defensive mistakes throughout a winless first half of the 2017 regular season.
Despite the mistakes adding up to an 0-8 record and near elimination from playoff contention for the 15th consecutive season, rookie defensive end Myles Garrett believes the team can turn the page now that the players have resumed practice following the bye week.
“As a young team, you’ve just got to learn to turn the page, make sure that you don’t get caught up thinking about those negative plays or the penalties that you committed,” Garrett said. “Older teams, they’ve been through the grind, they’ve had that experience, and they don’t let that one play get to them. They’re not really worried about that, and we’re going to get to that same level.”
Following the team’s 33-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham Stadium in London two weeks ago, Browns coach Hue Jackson said the team had to play perfectly in order to win one game. And while many took that comment as an affront to the front office for not adding veteran talent, Garrett clarified what some of the players thought of the words.
“Every team aspires to do that,” Garrett said. “They’re just trying to eliminate the negative plays and the takeaways or the turnovers because that just negates your chances of winning.
“The more times you get the ball away, the more times you start drives first-and-15 on defense, or if it’s first-and-five after you jump offsides, that just gives the offense or defense of your opponent another chance to come at you, take a shot or do things that are going to have you on the opposite end of where you want to be.”
After missing the first four games of the regular season because of a high ankle sprain suffered in a practice leading up to the home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Garrett reported concussion-like symptoms following a loss to the Tennessee Titans, was entered into the NFL Concussion Protocol shortly after and did not make the trip to London for the 2017 International Series matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham Stadium.
Despite being limited in his number of snaps in games against the New York Jets and Houston Texans, Garrett registered three sacks and seven total tackles.
Garrett followed up his debut performance against the Jets with a sack of rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson in a 33-17 loss to the Texans. Then, Garrett collected a sack of Marcus Mariota in a 12-9 loss to the Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Through three games this season, Garrett has registered 11 total tackles, seven solo stops and a team-best four sacks.
“I feel like I can go out there and make a play,” Garrett said. “I feel like if things aren’t going perfect, I can come around the edge and fix things. It is what it is. I’ve just got to go out there and prove it. Talk is cheap.”
© 2017 WKYC-TV