Myles Garrett has done his share, with 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles this season.
But the star defensive end knows that the key to the Cleveland Browns’ surprising surge into the playoff hunt is the way their defense and offense have worked so well together.
‘The offense, they really have a fire lit under them’
“I mean (rookie quarterback) Baker (Mayfield) is a huge part of that,” Garrett told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “The offense, they really have a fire lit under them. They’ve been getting after it each and every week. They’ve been blocking for him very well; hasn’t had a lot of hits on him. Then, we’ve been taking the ball away very well. We’ve just been working hand in hand and when we work together like that, on both phases, it’s hard to stop us.”
Mayfield has proven to be a catalyst for the entire team.
‘Whether we’re up 20 or we’re down 20, he’s going to have that same enthusiasm’
“He’s got a certain kind of swagger about him, how he carries himself,” Garrett said. “He never gets too up or too down. He’s excited. And whether we’re up 20 or we’re down 20, he’s going to have that same enthusiasm or that same drive to score and put another one up on the board, and keep this offense flourishing. He gets after the defense just like he gets after the offense. He wants us to do well so he can get more opportunities, and we want to get the ball back to him so he can put more points on the board.”
“I’ve also become a better run defender and I’ve also been better with my variety of moves.”
Garrett has helped plenty on that count. He has taken steps to improve his game and has made himself into the most complete player he has been since the Browns made him the top overall pick of the 2017 draft.
‘You can’t go and look at great pass-rushers without looking at Von’
“I’ve also become a better run defender and I’ve also been better with my variety of moves during the season when I’ve been pass-rushing,” Garrett said as the Browns prepared for Saturday night’s game against the Denver Broncos. “I’ve watched (Broncos outside linebacker) Von (Miller) since college. You can’t go and look at great pass-rushers without looking at Von. He’s been doing it well for quite a while now.
“And not just Von. The guy I played last week, (Carolina’s) Julius Peppers. I watched him a lot this year. (Browns General Manager John) Dorsey really wanted me to watch him. He thought we had a really similar build and athletic ability, so watching him kind of helped my game improve. I like older guys as well like Reggie (White), Bruce Smith, Lawrence Taylor, just the way those guys rushed the passer — how effective they were, how dominant they were, how they got to being that way. I just want to emulate that.”
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