Burning Questions

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12 questions for Myles Garrett, who has 5 sacks but says he’s still ‘got to get going’

If you thought five sacks in the first two games would satisfy Myles Garrett, you thought wrong.

On top of the handful of penalties he regrets, Garrett believes he’s left a sack or two on the field through the first two weeks of the season.

He knows a game like Sunday’s against the Rams will require him to maximize every opportunity he gets.

ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Garrett after the Browns’ final practice of the week.

CB.com: You’re coming off a three-sack performance against the Jets, and the Rams are coming to town. What have you liked from practice this week?

Garrett: The guys are very passionate, very into the game plan, preparing very well. A lot of people are staying after to watch film and coming in early to watch film. Everybody’s locked in and ready to go.

CB.com: Defensively, the team is dealing with a lot of injuries. How do you feel about the depth, specifically at linebacker and in the secondary?

Garrett: It’s going to come into play. We have a lot of guys who haven’t had two snaps of playing time who are going to have to fill big roles. I think they can. The league’s going to get a look at how deep we are at every spot.

CB.com: When the secondary is banged up, how much pressure does it put on the front four?

Garrett: We’re going to have to double our efforts. We’re going to have to make sure (Rams QB Jared Goff) isn’t able to see guys if they’re able to get open. We’re blocking his vision or trying to put him on his back and providing pressure the whole game so he’s not able to exploit any weaknesses or any open routes, if there are any.

Check out photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Rams Sunday by team photographer Matt Starkey

CB.com: It seemed on the defensive line you guys had a nice rotation last week with Chris Smith and Chad Thomas getting a lot of snaps. How much does that help keep you fresh?

Garrett: It’s great to be able to get your time to go in there and be effective but also have a couple of series in a row that the other guys can get out there and make big plays for themselves and keep the momentum going. That frees you up if the game is close to go in there in the fourth quarter and make a critical play at the time.

CB.com: How much have you noticed the impact of Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon on this defensive line?

Garrett: They’ve both provided something special. I see Sheldon, he’s always making them step back so it keeps them from being able to get away from me when I’m hitting the edge. Olivier, he’s always pushing the tackle back right into us. Either way, if I beat (my guy), (the quarterback) is going to be either right in front of me or right to my left because he’s going to try to step away from his tackle getting bull-rushed into him. He’s going to step right into me, Larry (Ogunjobi) and Sheldon.

CB.com: Five sacks after two games. Is that where you wanted to be by now?

Garrett: I wanted another one this last game. Yeah, that’s a good rate but I’ve got to get going.

CB.com: What do you have to do better?

Garrett: Less penalties. Less penalties mean more opportunities and give us more chances to get to the quarterback. I’ve got to be better at my job, really. It’s inexcusable with what I’ve been doing with the unnecessary roughness and offsides. Those post-snap and pre-snap penalties get you beat. I can’t allow myself to do that stuff anymore.

CB.com: Which penalties are easier to fix? Offsides or roughing the passer?

Garrett: Offsides is pretty easy. For me, I’m trying to go off rhythm and trying to use their cadence. Once I see anything move, I’m flying off the ball. I can wait until I actually see the ball starting to move and still get a good jump off it. Everybody’s able to do that. Everybody’s able to keep the ball in their peripherals. Landing on the quarterback, that’s harder. When you’re tackling, it’s harder to torque your body or try to throw your arms out of the way after you’re wrapping the guy up so that you’re not landing on him with your body weight. That’s just not natural. When you’re taking the guy down, you try to take your arms off and if he’s a short enough of a guy, he’ll stay up. If you’re trying to wrap him up, you can have a strong enough quarterback who can get that arm up and still get the ball off. I’m going to take my chances and try to take them down but within the strike zone and not trying to dump them. I’m just trying to get the quarterback down legally. That’s all I’m trying to do.

CB.com: Do you have any relationship with Aaron Donald?

Garrett: No. I might hit him up before the game. From what I’ve seen, he’s a good guy. I think I’ll try to get in contact with him before and after the game, get some tips and check up on him. I’ll ask him if he’s ready for double-teams because that’s what he’s going to see all game.

CB.com: What make the Rams tough on a defense?

Garrett: Speed to the ball. They like to exploit a weakness when they find it. They don’t get to third down where you can pass rush very often. You have to beat them and get behind the sticks before you can really pass rush. Once you get them back and once they have a short gain instead of that usual second-and-4, second-and-3, then that pass game starts opening up and you have more time to rush the passer.

CB.com: Do you like all of these primetime games?

Garrett: Morning, night, it’s all just a game.

CB.com: What do you do to kill the time?

Garrett: Watch movies, sleep, listen to music, play games. I’ve got a GameBoy I play. I play some Pokemon. I’m on my way to becoming a Pokemon master and I’m trying to become a sack master.

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