Myles Garrett should emerge as a force week in and week out this season.
That's how good the second-year defensive end and 2017 No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick can be, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said Thursday as the Browns wrapped up offseason workouts.
"Myles has taken another big step. Staying healthy, I would see him making a big breakout year," Williams said. "Got to stay healthy, and got to stay on the field."
That'll be key for Garrett, who led Cleveland with seven sacks in just 11 games as a rookie. It could've been more had the former Texas A&M star edge rusher not been limited by a nagging high ankle sprain that sidelined him for the first month of the season.
Upon the conclusion of last year, Garrett was his own biggest critic and lamented not making enough of an impact. Because of that, Williams said he has to try reign in the youngster's over-the-top work ethic. Beyond the physical tools — "He's a physical specimen," Williams added, "you just shake your head" — it's a desire to be among the league's elite that separates Garrett from his peers.
"He's one of the few guys that I've had to coach that I know I'm going to have to keep my hand on to hold back," Williams said. "One of the things with him is his overworking. He works so hard because he doesn't want to be good, he wants to be great. Sometimes he can be his own worst enemy in that respect, because he works so hard physically, that he has to do a good job with recovery also."
So far so good in that regard. This time last year, Garrett was diagnosed with a lateral foot sprain toward the end of mandatory minicamp. Entering Year 2, Williams said Garrett has emerged as a leader on a defense brimming with talent.
"I don't think that leadership has any age. I think that leadership starts with example," he said. "If you're providing the right example, then when you open your mouth, holy cow, somebody might listen to you." To illustrate that point, Williams said the uber-athletic Garrett ran sprints in phase two of offseason workouts with the defensive backs as a means of challenging himself.
"They were having a hard time keeping up. How do you do (that), 280-pound man, I mean I'm just looking like, 'Wow,'" he said. "That's what I'm talking about. Nobody told him to do that. That was just him. He's doing a good job in leadership, he is. He's not too vocal, right now it's just right."
Because of that, Williams sees big things in store for Garrett this season. "He knows, if he stays healthy, watch out," Williams said.
"In camp out here, in this whole camp, if you were to ask anybody on the offensive staff, or ask anybody on the offensive line, who gives them nightmares, it would be him. "