CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was an all-rookie selection in 2017 and earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors following the 2018 season, both of which came under the direction of former coordinator/interim head coach Gregg Williams.
However, Garrett let it be known in an interview with Bleacher Report that he feels like getting away from Williams will be a good thing for his career, something current Browns coach Freddie Kitchens did not appreciate hearing.
“First and foremost, Gregg Williams was a good football coach,” Kitchens said during rookie minicamp. “He has been a good football coach in the National Football League for a while, if that is the angle here.
“As far as Myles is concerned, we need to get good at our craft in all areas. I think Myles will be the first to tell you that.”
Garrett earned selection to his first Pro Bowl after a standout second season with the Browns in 2018.
After an injury-riddled rookie year in 2017, Garrett emerged as a leader for the Browns’ defense and registered 44 total tackles, including 35 solo stops and nine assists, with three forced fumbles while playing in all 16 games for the team who selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Additionally, Garrett registered 13.5 sacks for 75.5 lost yards and finished the year with the fourth-most sacks in a single season in franchise history.
“We will give him every opportunity to master his craft, and therefore, we expect the production to go up,” Kitchens said. “We expect the production to go up on the whole defensive line, the linebackers and the secondary. The production all over our football team needs to go up.
“The negativity -- I am not blaming anybody here -- surrounding some of the aspects of the team last year, we were 7-8-1 so that may be justified, but moving forward, we are not worried one bit about last year on any area: offensively, defensively, special teams or anything. Everything that we have, we have the goal in mind of getting better in everything.”
With 20.5 career sacks, Garrett registered more than any other Brown in his first 27 games, as well as the most by a defender in his first two professional seasons. This year, Garrett ranked sixth in the NFL with the 13.5 sacks.
For his efforts, Garrett became the Browns’ first front seven defender to reach All-Pro status since linebacker Jamir Miller in 2001 and first defensive lineman since Michael Dean Perry made the AP All-Pro Team in 1994.
“Last year is last year,” Kitchens said. “No two teams are the same. I have said that numerous times. You are not going to pick up where you left off. We are not interested in revisiting last year at all. We were 7-8-1. We didn’t do [anything] last year. We didn’t win anything. We were third in the division.
“I don’t know where all of this is coming from. Just because the Super Bowl is our goal does not mean that is where we are right now. We are a team just like the other 31 teams, and we are focused on training camp, OTAs, minicamp and getting better when those guys are back in the building.”