Myles Garrett has a "pretty lofty" sack total goal heading into 2019.
He won't tell you a number, but promises he'll let everyone know after the season if he hit it. For him, though, the goal will be a year overdue. Garrett came within one half sack from tying franchise single-season record holder Reggie Camp at 14, a number Garrett said Tuesday he "should have breezed by" in 2018.
"Things happen," Garrett said after speaking to students at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new turf field donated by the Browns to Ellet High School on Tuesday in Akron. "I'll make sure I crush that this year."
Expectations for Garrett, at least statistically, are much higher this season in part because of the additions of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and defensive end Olivier Vernon. The thought is Vernon and Richardson's presence will make it more difficult for opposing offenses to dedicate two blockers to stopping Garrett, which should free him up to win more one-on-one battles.
But there's also the element of rest, or lack thereof, for Garrett. Through four games last season, Garrett said he'd only missed approximately four total defensive snaps. He expects that with the added talent and depth up front, he won't be needed quite as much, which should allow him to get some important rest and be more productive as a result.
"It was a little bit tiring," Garrett said. "But at the end of the day you've got to go out there make plays when you're out there. Can't put any excuses behind it. Those new additions will definitely keep me off the field for those long periods and I'll be able to go out there fresh and rejuvenated each time and go out there and make a play."
Check out photos from the third day of OTA practices
The name that doesn't get mentioned as much as perhaps it should be is Larry Ogunjobi, the fellow youngster up front who is an unheralded force at defensive tackle. Garrett thinks the world is about to be introduced to Ogunjobi in 2019.
"I think he'll see me in the Pro Bowl this year," Garrett said. "I don't think people have been able to see all of Larry ... I think he made that large leap last year, he was just a little hindered. I think he's out for a breakout year."
A Pro Bowl year from Ogunjobi combined with a more advanced attack from Garrett, and the efforts of Vernon and Richardson should make for a heck of a gameplanning task for opponents. Should Garrett's predictions come true, good things are ahead for Cleveland's defense.