Myles Garrett is set to make his NFL regular season debut this weekend, a welcomed development as the Browns search for their first victory.
"I'm ready to show what I can do," said Garrett, the first overall pick this spring.
But as the rookie defensive end prepares for Sunday's game against the Jets, Garrett's approach to a potentially emotional day is a simple one.
"Don't make the moment bigger than it is," he said Friday.
Garrett, who totaled 31 sacks at Texas A&M, is expected to give Cleveland's defense a boost regardless of how much he plays. After suffering a high ankle sprain days before the season opener, Garrett will be on a "pitch count" in an effort not overload the youngster.
"I'll be out there as much as they want me to be," he said. "Whether it's a lot or a little."
"He really has had a very good week. There's been a really good look in his eye. He has had some private projects behind the scenes," defensive coordinator Gregg Williams added.
"He's such a smart guy. I enjoy talking to him and some of the other really smart ones about, 'How do you see this guy? How do you see this situation?' Even if he is a rookie, it is fun to hear and learn something from each and every person you are around, and he is a sharp young man."
— Jamie Collins Sr. remains in the league's concussion protocol but has been cleared for physical activity. It's unclear if the Pro Bowl linebacker, who is listed as doubtful, will play against the Jets. Collins is listed as doubtful in Friday's injury report and hasn't played since Week 2.
"He ran around today, so I will go back and look at the tape and see exactly everything he did because he didn't do it with the team, being very honest and forthright," Jackson said. "So, we will see exactly where he is and see where he is from an understanding the game plan situation and kind of go from there. If we think it is close, obviously you guys know how I am, if a guy doesn't practice, we won't play him."
— With starting receivers Corey Coleman on injured reserve and Kenny Britt listed as doubtful, the Browns will rely on a group of young receivers to step up this weekend against New York. Cleveland welcomed back Sammie Coates (hamstring) to practice earlier this week and signed speedster Bryce Treggs off the Eagles' practice squad. Jackson said he "wouldn't be surprised" if Treggs — a second-year player out of California — contributes Sunday.
"Where he came from, the system and some of the verbiage is similar," Jackson said of Philadelphia's offense. "Then he has spent a lot of time with his teammates over the last several hours or several days trying to make sure that he has it down. He's a very bright young man. I wouldn't be surprised if he can go out there and contribute and help our football team this weekend."
— Earlier this week, Jackson described the second quarter as Cleveland's "Achilles Heel" after being outscored 63-21 in the period. This past weekend against the Bengals, they surrendered a 21-0 run that put the game out of reach before halftime. "We have to go out and play and play better, especially in the second quarter," Williams said. "Have to play better in the second quarter. I know that is probably something you have written about. Those things there are a mistake here or there that is more than one guy at the point of attack. When it is one person at the point of attack, then somebody else cleans it up. Somebody else runs it down. A play that pops is the one that is most concerning to me because we are a good effort bunch and we have to continue to be more technique proficient and a little bit more scheme proficient in a couple areas."
— Falling behind in all four losses hasn't helped the Browns' re-commitment to the run game. Jackson made as much clear earlier this week when he gave running back Isaiah Crowell a vote of confidence. So did run game coordinator/running backs coach Kirby Wilson. "He just has to continue to believe in that, that if I just do my job, it's a long season," he said, "and the success will come. I just have to keep doing my job and playing as hard as I can play."
— In addition to former quarterback Josh McCown, linebacker Demario Davis returns to Cleveland for the first time since re-joining the Jets. Davis, who played his first four seasons in New York, spent 2016 with the Browns. "He looks really, really good. He has been outstanding in the game film we have looked at," Wilson said. "He is making a ton of tackles. He is all over the football field."
Davis, who was traded back to the Jets this past spring, has 40 tackles so far this season.
"Not surprised by anything Demario is doing. Demario is a really good player, really smart, studies the game, very bright," Jackson said. "Another guy that elevates their football team, in my opinion, based on his knowledge of the game and the way he plays. That is going to be a tough deal for us this week."
— In Sunday's loss to the Bengals, rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez missed a 48-yard field goal that would've capitalized on a strip sack in the first quarter. Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said he expects the youngster to bounce back.
"He's going to make those kicks," he said. "He doesn't flinch. He's very tough mentally, he's a good player and he keeps getting better. It was a miss and I expect him to play well this weekend."