From the moment Myles Garrett first set foot on the field as a Cleveland Browns defensive end, it was evident that he was destined to fulfill the immense expectations that accompanied his status as the top overall draft pick. His inaugural professional snap, following a return from an ankle injury, resulted in a decisive sack of Josh McCown of the New York Jets – a moment that would go down in history.
However, despite his exceptional talent and contributions, Garrett has yet to secure the coveted title of Defensive Player of the Year. Nevertheless, this year presents an unparalleled opportunity for him to finally claim this prestigious award. The recent acquisitions of Za’Darius Smith and Ogbo Okoronkwo have equipped Garrett with the most formidable supporting cast of his career.
When you combine the pass-rushing statistics of these three players from the previous season, the result is an astonishing 187 pressures and 31 sacks. The Browns have never boasted a trio that even remotely approached these numbers since Garrett entered the league.
Although Myles Garrett will undoubtedly continue to draw substantial attention and double teams from opponents, the presence of a tight end or running back to provide chip blocks is likely to diminish. Devoting three or more players to contain Garrett this season would be a perilous choice, as Smith and Okorokwo are primed to capitalize on any such tactics.
Of course, Garrett must maintain his health throughout the season, but with the added dimension of Jim Schwartz’s innovative strategies for the defensive line, there is every reason to believe that Garrett can achieve career-high performance levels.
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