Browns coach Hue Jackson laid out some simple, but strong expectations for Myles Garrett over the final six games of his rookie season.
“Go dominate the game. That is what he is here for,” Jackson said after Friday’s walk-through. “I think Myles is talented enough to go do what he needs to do. Everyone knows that so everyone is going to shooting to make sure he does not. So his charge has to be, you have to go find a way.
“The man is playing extremely hard. He is playing well. Obviously we want more sacks. He wants more sacks. But he needs to go make more splash plays and I think he will.”
Garrett, who has played in five games, is tied for the team lead with four sacks. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said opposing offenses are scheming to stop Garrett, who is often drawing a variety of double-, and sometimes, triple-teams.
That’s likely to continue the rest of the season, especially in the wake of fellow defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah’s season-ending foot injury. The more Garrett sees it, the better Williams believes he’ll respond.
“When you are perceived to be premier, when you are perceived and respected as talented, then you don’t let one guy handle one guy. You let two or three,” Williams said. “He is playing against what we call ‘chippers.’ He is playing against not only a chipper, but another one that was slid toward him to end up being three on one, developed into two on one. Those are things you have to grow to.”
-- Rookie safety Jabrill Peppers, who missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury, is expected to play Sunday against the Bengals.
“In this league, you are going to play hurt, especially in the AFC North,” Peppers said. “It is getting late in the season. If your body is still feeling 100 percent, you are not playing the right way. That is just how I feel. That is how everyone feels. Everyone is hurting right now, but we still have to grind out wins.”
Wide receiver Sammie Coates (knee/ankle) is the only player from the 53-man roster to be officially considered as out for the game. Defensive back Derron Smith (knee) is doubtful.
The Browns are set to play their first game of the season without Ogbah and defensive tackle Jamie Meder, both of whom were placed on injured reserve earlier in the week.
-- Browns running backs coach/run game coordinator Kirby Wilson said circumstances of last week’s game against the Jaguars played a part in limiting Duke Johnson Jr.’s snaps.
Johnson was limited to 27 snaps, roughly 50 percent of the team’s offensive plays. He had two rushes for 10 yards to go along with four receptions and 56 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown catch. He has 20 more catches (46) than the next-best on the team and leads the way with 414 receiving yards.
“We would like him to be on the field as much as possible in all situations because we believe in him so strongly as a player and as a playmaker,” Wilson said. “That is up to us as coaches, me in particular, to make sure that he is always involved and always has a role in being on the field at all times or as much as possible.”
-- Browns special teams coordinator Chris Tabor called punter Britton Colquitt the “best player” on Cleveland’s punt unit and said he’s had a Pro Bowl-worthy season.
Colquitt has just one touchback on the season, and it came last week against the Jaguars. The ninth-year veteran has placed 16 inside the 20-yard line and is fifth in the NFL with an average of 48.9 yards per punt.
“I will say this, our starting punt team is not the same as what it was in Week 1 or actually in Week 5. It is totally different. I think the one consistency has obviously been him,” Tabor said. “This is a tough place to punt and it is going to get tougher. I just think he has been a bright spot for us. I know that is a big term that I used the word ‘Pro Bowl’, but at the same time, I do think he is that caliber of player. I think he is a special player.”