Chris Kiffin has watched Myles Garrett elevate his game each of the last two seasons — and believes Garrett will be even better in 2022.
When Kiffin, the Browns' defensive line coach first arrived in 2020, Garrett recorded a team-leading 12 sacks and four forced fumbles. Last year, he dominated at an even higher level with a franchise-record 16 sacks that ranked third-best in the NFL — his best season yet.
Garrett has seemingly grown stronger, smarter and better every year since Kiffin's had the chance to coach him. Kiffin doesn't see that trend changing in 2022.
"I absolutely see (Defensive Player of the Year) in his future," Kiffin said Saturday. "I think he does, too. I know it's only Day 6, Day 7 of camp, but he's been locked in more so than I've ever seen."
Check out photos of players and coaches working throughout camp
Garrett, 26, believes he can be better, too. He normally feels that way this time of year, and he usually fulfills whatever goals he sets for himself in training camp during the season.
This year, Garrett is focusing more on not only producing more sacks and game-changing plays but bringing along his teammates, specifically the young players in the interior D-Line.
The Browns will be looking for two new starters in those positions this year and have several young players who could step in. Taven Bryan, a 2018 first-round pick who spent his first four seasons with the Jaguars, and Jordan Elliott, a 2020 third-round pick, have taken first-team reps so far through camp. The group also includes rookie fourth-rounder Perrion Winfrey, 2021 fourth-rounder Tommy Togiai, and seven-year vet Sheldon Day.
Garrett wants to lift the room by lifting his own game as well.
"I know that there is always more in the tank for myself, but also for them," he said Wednesday. "I feel like we have a long way to go, but it is the start of the process today and all throughout this preseason and this training camp. I believe that we have a lot of potential that we can help mold and create something very big here.
Kiffin applauded Garrett for stepping up his leadership even more this year as well. He said Garrett has been the first player out on the field for practice and has clearly taken command of a room where he — as well as three-time Pro Bowler Jadeveon Clowney — are firmly entrenched as the two most experienced veterans.
"He knows that room is his now," Kiffin said. "He had some older guys when he first got in there, and he's really locked in right now. Obviously, the talent continues to get better year to year, so there's no reason he can't."
A DPOY award would certainly be one way for Garrett to show his game can be even more elite.
Based on how his career has trended so far, Kiffin doesn't think he'll have to wait much longer.
"His time will come," Kiffin said, "and hopefully it's this year."