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Myles Garrett ‘absolutely’ expects more freedom playing for Browns DC Steve Wilks than he had under Gregg Williams

Myles Garrett ‘absolutely’ expects to play with more freedom under the direction of new Cleveland Browns DC Steve Wilks than he had with Gregg Williams.
Credit: Gary Landers
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) celebrates after sacking Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the first half of an AFC North Division game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on Sunday, November 26, 2017.

AKRON, Ohio — Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett had two very productive seasons under the direction of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Speaking after a groundbreaking for a new football field at Ellet High School in Akron, Ohio Tuesday, Garrett stood by comments he told Bleacher Report earlier this offseason about Williams limiting him to two moves.

“We all kind of tried to press (Williams) to allow us some more freedom in the pass rush, but he had a system, and you’ve got to buy into the system,” Garrett said.

Credit: AP
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) defends during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. The Titans won 12-9 in overtime. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Whatever happened in the past does not matter to Garrett now, as the third-year defensive end believes there is more to accomplish with the guidance of new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

“He’s seen what I can do with just those limited amount of moves as he pointed out to me, so I think I’ll be able to surprise him this year,” Garrett said.

Garrett earned selection to his first Pro Bowl after a standout second season with the Browns in 2018.

Riddled with injuries as a rookie in 2017, Garrett emerged as a leader for the Browns’ defense in 2018 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 just short of the franchise’s single-season record for sacks.

“I should have breezed by that,” Garrett said of coming up short of the record. “Things happen, so I’ll make sure I crush that this year.”

Credit: David Richard
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) rushes against Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Jake Matthews (70) in the second half of a game at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sunday, November 11, 2018.

With 20.5 career sacks, Garrett registered the most by a Brown in his first 27 games, as well as the most by a defender in his first two professional seasons. Last 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 to earn such acclaim since Michael Dean Perry made the AP All-Pro Team in 1994.

Garrett is confident that productivity will grow in 2019, as he believes that the additions of Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson at end and tackle, respectively, and development from Larry Ogunjobi will give the Browns a formidable defensive front in 2019.

“I think it’s going to be explosive in the middle,” Garrett said. “Either QBs are going to get sacked trying to step up away from me and Olivier or they’re going to step back and get clobbered by us two coming off the edge. It’s definitely going to be a really good pass rush and really good defensive line.

“You’re always excited to get talent like that, no matter how you get it, from the draft or for some trades or just easy free-agent pickups. Those guys, they’re veterans. They know what they’re doing, They know how to run an NFL defense already, so just excited to put the pads on and see what they’re going to do.”

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