Myles Garrett adjusting to his new normal: Extra attention that goes well beyond the left tackle

Myles Garrett was tired of the double teams and extra blockers. 

Garrett wanted his shot at Patrick Mahomes, but the Chiefs wouldn't even let him have one at Eric Fisher. So after one instance when the Chiefs sent help his way for the nth time Sunday, Garrett voiced his displeasure.

"(Fisher) doesn't need your help," Garrett told the blockers. "You worry about me, and you worry about Larry (Ogunjobi), or you worry about (Emmanuel Ogbah). Let me have my one on one." 

They did, but on a quick throw. 

This is Garrett's new normal. He's adjusting to life as a dominant pass rusher —not just a player with the potential to become one. As many coaches in Berea predicted, 2018 has served as Garrett's breakout season. Through nine weeks, he's tied for third in the league with nine sacks. 

With production comes respect, but with respect comes extra attention. And, as Garrett expressed to the Chiefs last Sunday, with extra attention comes restricted opportunities. 

"It is frustrating sometimes," Garrett said. "But you just have to do your best. Work through those things. Fight through double teams. Fight through (triple teams). Open up opportunities for others to make plays as well."

Garrett's done that some this year. Ogunjobi's recorded four sacks this season and Genard Avery has pitched in 2.5. And it's no wonder why. Even when teams aren't explicitly doubling Garrett, they're always trying new wrinkles to slow him down. 

They'll line tight ends and receivers up closer to him in an attempt to trick him into thinking they're helping. Sometimes the receivers will fake a step toward him before continuing on to their real assignment. Sometimes the receivers and tight ends actually do hit him before they move on, known as "chipping" or "nudging." All these strategies are designed to impede Garrett's progress toward the backfield or distract him from what's really happening. And there's no concrete right answer on how to adjust. 

"It's more of an instinctual thing," Garrett said. "Sometimes you gotta beat them inside, sometimes you gotta beat them outside. Sometimes if he's kinda soft about it, you just gotta go right through them. However you can get through the path of least resistance to get to the tackle — that's the guy you really have to beat. You can't let that nudger beat you before you can even get there." 

Garrett's not even sure how to gauge his improvement in the run game because nobody runs his direction. Just another part of adjusting to superstar-dom. 

It might be asking for a lot, but I wish that they would run my way maybe a little bit more often," Garret said. "They do not run at me enough."

That's the feel-out game Garrett is learning this season. Opponents are taking notice of his immense talent. The next step for him is to master the counters to their counters. And the more he sees, the more he'll be able to overcome. 

"Every single time the offense lines up, they are telling us what to do," coach Gregg Williams said. "Can (Garrett) see? The more you play, the more you see and the easier it is for you at this level."

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