Myles Garrett is on the doorstep of some Browns history and is hoping he'll be able to reach it Sunday against the Ravens.
Garrett needs just one sack — a half-sack would do, too — to set the Browns' single-season sack record. He's been chasing it and coming oh so close to it ever since he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2017. Reggie Camp's record has stood for 37 years, but it's never been in more danger of being surpassed.
ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Garrett as he wrapped up his final preparations for Sunday's big game.
CB.com: You played 12 straight games before getting a bye. How rested do you feel?
Garrett: I feel rested enough. No one's going to feel sorry for us. They don't care how we feel or what's going through our minds. We just have to keep our minds focused on the task at hand, and that's beating the Ravens. At the end of the day, it's about wins and losses. You can't make anything bigger than that or thinking about what happened before.
CB.com: When you look at the defensive effort the last time you faced the Ravens, it looked like things worked as well as they ever have. What can you pinpoint as the reason?
Garrett: We just tried to frustrate (Lamar Jackson) in the pocket, get him off the spot and not allow him to get up field and try to take away his first read to his No. 1 target.
CB.com: It seems like the defense did a good job scheming to stop him with three safeties and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah at linebacker. How much did that help?
Garrett: JOK is a baller. He's a young guy who has a lot of energy and is smart enough to know the lanes and which are going to be open for Lamar to scramble. He has the athletic ability to chase him down.
CB.com: It seems like the defenses all around the AFC North are stepping up. How have you guys stepped up?
Garrett: We've got to be the best defense out there. At the end of the day, that's always our goal. We're never going to try to rely on the offense to put up a large amount of points. If the (opponent) doesn't put up any points, they don't win. You have to go out there and make a statement.
CB.com: Is it tough to not get frustrated by so many of the almost-sacks with Lamar?
Garrett: He's known for that. You can't get frustrated for a guy being who he is. He's dynamic, he's a great runner and he's developed into a pretty good quarterback all in all. There will be times when you're rushing into other guys and they get the ball out right before. Instead of doing that, he's able to make a move on you and make you miss. It's no different than that. You've got to be able to capitalize on your chances and your opportunities.
CB.com: Is it more rewarding to sack Lamar than it is other quarterbacks because of how he moves?
Garrett: I would say they're all pretty much the same to me.
CB.com: Would it mean any more if it happened in a winning effort and you get to set the franchise single-season sack record in the process?
Garrett: It'd be special if I could set the record and we beat the Ravens. Like you said, it has to happen in a winning effort. It doesn't matter how many I put up if we don't win. That's all I'm worried about and all I want.
CB.com: You tied the record in the last game, but it was in a loss. Is it something you can appreciate after the fact?
Garrett: It takes time. Even right now, it's not even the first thing on my mind. The first thing is getting up there and being disruptive, how can I get myself and my teammates a chance enough to make big plays for us to be in a position to win. I know if we're out there winning, we all have a chance to make a big play. If we do that and we capitalize half of the time on those big-play opportunities, we'll have an opportunity to hold them to an even lower score than last time and put ourselves in the best spot possible to get a W.
CB.com: The Ravens seem to be at their best when everyone is rushing it well, not just Lamar. How important is it to shut down the running back part of their running game?
Garrett: It's very important. We have to be able to run the ball well to open up the playbook for us and mix it up. It's the same with them. You can be on your heels when they're able to run the ball consistently for a good amount of yards. You have to worry about who's in the backfield, where they'll be the next and who's getting the ball.
CB.com: What'd you think about the quirk in the schedule getting the Ravens in consecutive games?
Garrett: It's different but I kind of like it. I don't like having a sour taste in my mouth getting beat by a team. Sometimes it sucks to not be able to face them immediately and take it out on them. This is one where we didn't get the W like we wanted but now we've got an opportunity for revenge.
CB.com: All the way back to Week 1, you've always treated it one game at a time. What kind of change is there when these games really do matter toward your goal of making the playoffs?
Garrett: They all matter. Right now they just matter a little more. We've got to be able to make the plays we need to make on offense, defense and special teams and get a W. If we don't, we'll be home a lot sooner than we expected.
CB.com: This is the My Cause My Cleats game. What cause did you pick and why is it important to you?
Garrett: Mission of Hope Haiti is who I picked. I went out there in college and had a good time engrossing myself in the culture with my fellow athletes and some of my friends. I just tried to become a part of the community and help where I could. Seeing the struggles, seeing the joy in their faces for what they were going through, it was similar to my trip to Africa. I always wanted to stay attached to that community and they always have a place in my heart. That's really the reason why I wear my headband. They made it for me when I got drafted by the Browns. I'm showing more love to them and a little donation I have planned. I have some things I want to do for them and show them they always have a special part of my heart because it was my first trip out of the country. It's something special I'll remember forever.