Earlier today, we covered offensive line coach Bob Wylie speaking to the media prior to Day 4 of Cleveland Browns training camp. This is the other half of the recap we promised, covering what defensive line coach Clyde Simmons had to say.
- It’s not often that you see coaches throw a ton of overwhelming praise in the direction of a rookie, but the Browns have been doing that with DE Myles Garrett, and are continuing to do it in training camp. I think it’s a testament to not only how good of a player Garrett is, but how serious the No. 1 overall pick is taking his job. He takes nothing for granted.
“Myles is coming on just like we expected. Coming from whatever was bothering him in the spring, he is showing up. He is doing the same things that I ask of him and everything I ask of him. He is showing flashes every day. He is showing something special every day. I have nothing but good things to think about Myles. ... [Getting him more reps] will take care of itself [over time]. He has come here and He is working hard. He is doing some rookie things – mental errors and all of that stuff – but that is to be expected. Other than that, he is doing everything asked of him.”
- Along with QB DeShone Kizer, we’ve also seen DE Myles Garrett do 100-yard sprints after practices conclude. Simmons said that coaches are not telling him to do that -- he believes Garrett is simply trying to get himself in the shape he needs to be in to play everydown defense in the NFL.
“[Those 100-yard sprints] lets me know that he feels like he is not in good enough shape to play our defense. I know he wants to be on the field as much as possible and all of that stuff, but he has to be in great shape to play our defense. If he wants to play as many plays as he is trying to play, he has to be in great shape. ... No, I didn’t tell him to [run sprints]. That is one thing I admired about the young man. He does a lot of things on his own. He is not one of those complacent rookies where he is sitting back and just going through the motions of practice. He works at what he is doing, he asks the right questions and he does the right things all of the time.”
- Garrett isn’t the only rookie defensive linemen that Simmons has access to. How is DT Larry Ogunjobi doing, besides his impressive workout videos?
“Larry is coming on. He gives great effort. He is smart. He does not make a lot of mistakes. He just has to be more technically sound. There are some things he knows he has to work on. If you remember, Larry has only been playing football for six years. There are a lot of things that come naturally to guys who have been playing since they were eight-years old and they understand that about the game. Those are some of the things that he has been learning.”
- On Saturday, we heard from NT Danny Shelton about some of the complacency he had in 2016. But Simmons sees the fire in him, and makes note of how he is taking on a new role in Gregg Williams’ defense:
“Danny has proven that he is becoming a leader for our group. He is becoming a leader for us. He has a lot of fire in him, and I love that about him. He is getting a grasp on what we want in our system. He has been in a system where he was asked to be on a two-gap [assignment] and all of that stuff. We are more of an attacking-style defense. It is an adjustment for him, but he is getting better at it every day.”
Speaking on another young player, Simmons said that DE Emmanuel Ogbah has a lot of the physical tools and is now “getting to understand that being a left end requires him to be a little bit more physical than he’s been playing.”
- Day 3 on Saturday saw the first full-pads practice, and it was noted by reporters that the running game had a lot of early success in the live tackling drills. Simmons was blunt about his group needing to get better:
“We have to get better. Up front, we have to get better. We were up and down in our technique. We were up and down in our effort. We were up and down in our mental errors, making mistakes and things like that. We have to get better. That is the simple thing for us.”
Simmons also said they have the mentality of, “we need to stop the run in order to earn the right to rush the passer.” He also echoed Wylie’s sentiments from earlier that most of the chemistry is built in the meeting rooms.
- Lastly, how are things going for veteran DL Desmond Bryant?
“He brings a lot of veteran leadership. Even though he didn’t come to all the OTAs, he was ready, was in shape, and is not a problem. He’s leading this group. He’s the elder statesman in this group, even though I still consider him a young man (laughing). But he understands that he has to be the leader of that group.”