Myles Garrett accepted congratulatory remarks with polite smiles and thank you's Wednesday.
Garrett was selected to his first career Pro Bowl on Tuesday night, a significant achievement for most second-year players. But his response didn't match that of a player who achieved an honor ahead of schedule.
That's because Garrett's career goals extend far beyond this year's Pro Bowl in Orlando. Excuse Garrett if his excitement doesn't match your expectations. His are different.
"It's nice," Garret said of his Pro Bowl selection. "Step One of many steps to come. Hopefully many more."
Part of Garrett's underwhelming reaction is natural. He's naturally less animated than most NFL players; his demeanor is more relaxed. The other part stems from the tremendous expectations Garrett sets for himself. He didn't just want to prove to himself that he could play a full NFL season this year; he planned to lead the NFL in sacks while doing so (he currently trails Aaron Donald by four sacks with two games to go).
And clearly, he's not satisfied with just making the Pro Bowl. He has his sights set on higher accolades.
"Step Two, All-Pro," Garrett said. "Step Three, Defensive Player of the Year. Step Four, win it all."
That's why Garrett wasn't back-flipping when he learned about his Pro Bowl selection. It's why his father, Lawrence, was more excited about the honor than Garrett was. He views this accomplishment as progress, sure. But he knows he's capable of much more. So, it's not time to celebrate yet.
Don't get him wrong, he appreciates the honor. He's excited to hang out with a bunch of great pass rushers in Orlando. He joked he hopes they all get to spend time together at Disney World.
He just hopes to become better than all of them.
"I'm definitely gonna smile (when I'm there)," Garrett said. "I appreciate it. But I'm not gonna get too high or too low."