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Myles Garrett eager to face Steelers in NFL debut: 'I'm not going to be alone in this'

After the Browns drafted him first overall this spring, rookie defensive end Myles Garrett said he was looking forward to facing off against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Garrett, of course, isn't going to back down from those comments as Cleveland prepares to host Pittsburgh on Sunday in the season opener. He also made it clear this weekend is about much more than him.

"You shouldn't be scared to take anybody down. We're going to come at him as a collective group," the former Texas A&M star said Wednesday. "It's not just one player getting after five guys. It's our whole defense against their offense. I'm not going to be alone in this."

Indeed, Garrett, who will make his regular season debut alongside fellow early-round rookies DeShone Kizer, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku, is part of a defense that dominated throughout the preseason in wins over the Saints, Giants, Buccaneers and Bears.

Roethlisberger and the high-powered Steelers offense, however, should offer the Browns a better idea of where they stand. In addition to its veteran quarterback, Pittsburgh returns All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le'Veon Bell, who finished with close to 1,900 yards of offense in 2016.

To be certain, the big-bodied Roethlisberger remains at the center of the Steelers offense since coming into the league in 2004. He's 10-2 against the Browns in Cleveland and has completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,635 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in those games.  

Garrett, whom the Browns drafted to bolster a pass rush that finished second-to-last last season, should play a key role in helping slow down Pittsburgh's passing attack.

"He's no small fella," Garrett said, laughing, when asked about Roethlisberger (6-4, 241). "It's going to be pretty tough. You have to make sure that you wrap up and make sure that you try to get the ball out."

Garrett also shrugged off the notion of any pre-game nerves that could come this weekend.

"It's all still just football," he said. "It doesn't matter about the crowd, you have to kind of block that out. You just have to worry about your assignment."

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