Burning Questions

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13 questions with Myles Garrett, who still loves being an underdog even as Browns keep winning

The Pro Bowl pass rusher has 6 sacks already this season

Five games, six sacks and a game-changing play in each of the Browns' four wins on the season.

It's fair to say Myles Garrett is off to quite the start to his 2020 season, but he certainly isn't satisfied.

ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Garrett as the Browns wrapped up their preparations for Sunday's showdown with the Steelers.

CB.com: Five games into the season and it's been quite a start. How would you describe what the team has accomplished so far?

Garrett: We've won some tough games and we've just been clicking on offense and defense. We've been playing very complementary football. That's all you can ask.

CB.com: How much pride do you take in the 12 turnovers the defense has forced?

Garrett: We're just paying attention to details and knowing where to be and getting there on time. That's the main thing. We've all had a part in that. These guys are playing with their hair on fire and you love to see that. They're so passionate to get the ball out and make a play to change the game. Everybody has bought into that.

CB.com: How much more are you thinking about turnovers on the field compared to when you were a rookie?

Garrett: I didn't put the importance I should have as a rookie. It was more about just getting there. Now it's about when you get there, this is what you should do. Increase the value and significance of the play. I'm just trying to do more.

CB.com: When you look back at the offseason and the time you had at the end of last season, what's the most important thing you did to get yourself ready for 2020?

Garrett: A lot of running, a lot of biking, a lot of conditioning. I just needed to be able to make sure I could take as many snaps we needed to get the win.

CB.com: Have you felt that on the field this season?

Garrett: I feel like I have it when it's needed. That's also a part of the plan (defensive line) coach (Chris) Kiffin has laid out, making sure I'm in there and usually fresh at the end of games. You have to stick to it and those times I've had to hang on and be out there for long drives, I don't feel it as much.

Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers

CB.com: How do you balance not getting too hyped up for Sunday's game while acknowledging this is a really important matchup for the team?

Garrett: You just keep it simple. Black and yellow, big AFC matchup. The Browns and Steelers have been going at it a long time but at the end of the day, it's just 11 vs. 11 and you've got to win your one-on-one.

CB.com: What does it mean to you that this rivalry can really intensify now that both teams are doing so well?

Garrett: It's beautiful to see, that steady rise. This is the first time they've been 4-0 in a while and it's the first time we've been 4-1 in a while. Seeing that improvement on both sides is great. We're hoping that it's not the highest peak of our abilities. We've got to clean things up and polish things up. It's good to see we'll go out and get their very best.

CB.com: Even though you're on a four-game winning streak, does the team still have an underdog mentality?

Garrett: Absolutely. That's what every team thinks about us and we don't want to lose that chip on our shoulder. We want to keep on working knowing the teams think less of us every time we step on the field.

CB.com: Do you even want teams to view you as the favorite at any point?

Garrett: I'm good on that. I'd rather be the underdog and just the Cleveland Browns. And when the game's over they can say something's different over there.

CB.com: How's it benefitted you to have a second year with all of the same starters on the D-line?

Garrett: We're all getting free. All of those guys are getting penetration and getting hits and putting pressure on the quarterback. That helps get each other one-on-ones and everybody's got to win theirs. I'm just fortunate to win mine and the quarterback still has the ball when I get there.

CB.com: With the injuries in the back seven, how important is it for the D-line to step up?

Garrett: It's just part of playing complementary football, especially with rushing and coverage. The better we do, the easier it is on them. The better they do, it makes it easier on us. That's the relationship we have and if we put it together as a defense, that makes it easier on the offense. We've been doing that at the right time and getting wins out of it.

CB.com: You've talked about Ben Roethlisberger a lot since you joined the team in 2017. What's it like rushing a guy you were watching as a kid?

Garrett: I try not to think about it like that. I remember the time we played the Patriots I couldn't help but think about the times I watched Tom Brady growing up. You've got to view it as another guy that's back there. Just like high school and college, he's one of your peers now. You just try to go out and make a big play and not treat him any different.

CB.com: How much does Kevin Stefanski's even-keeled personality help the team manage its emotions going into a hostile environment in Pittsburgh?

Garrett: You know he's not going to back down or be rattled by anything we face this year. He's full steam ahead and head held high. I'm glad to be a part of this team with him and knowing he's part of the leadership of this team as well as the captains we have. We'll have confidence going into their building and try to pull one out.

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