ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Myles Garrett is as chiseled as football players come, and yet the Browns' second-year defensive end spent the offseason working to get in better shape.
Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's NFL Draft, was his own biggest critic at the end of a rookie season slowed by nagging injuries (though he still managed to lead the team with seven sacks in 11 games).
So over the past few months, Garrett made it a point to eat right, gain muscle and trim excess body fat before coming back to Cleveland for offseason workouts. Time off, of course, also gave him a chance to rest and recover from a high-ankle sprain that sidelined him for the first month of the season.
"I was mostly working on myself and my diet to try and stay in shape," Garrett said Monday at the Cleveland Browns Foundation golf tournament. "I was just trying to make sure I came back stronger and healthier than before."
It's why the former Texas A&M star edge rusher is brimming with confidence entering a 2018 season in which he'll be expected to contribute in a major way. Being injury-free, he added, is a major boost, too.
"Just being healthy this year, it's really about my confidence being able to be more mobile and not have anything hold me back," he said. "It's helped me, not only bring me confidence but bring my teammates confidence knowing that I'll always be out there, always working and there's not going to be any hindrances this year of what we can achieve."
To be sure, Garrett flashed the talent that made him the first overall pick last year. He wants to do that on a more consistent basis, knowing it's key for him to emerge as an impact player on a Browns team looking to rebound from a winless season.
Earlier this offseason, Browns coach Hue Jackson heaped praise on Garrett as a cornerstone for the future. "I think (he) is on the cusp of really turning into a really, really good football player in this league," he said.
Garrett believes he's ready to make that jump.
"You learn the pace of the game, you learn the physicality of it," he said of his rookie year. "Once you go back and you study a little bit, revamp of what you saw last year, you can make a big impact."