- Myles Garrett not out to change perceptions (Beacon Journal) - Forty-eight hours from playing his first game since Nov. 14, Myles Garrett was not in an introspective mood. The 24-year-old Browns’ Pro Bowl defensive end finds himself in the spotlight on the NFL’s season-opening weekend as he returns for Sunday’s game at the Baltimore Ravens.
- Myles Garrett says Browns D ‘up for the task’ in slowing Lamar Jackson (clevelandbrowns.com) - Myles Garrett knows what a defense needs to do to stop Lamar Jackson from taking over a football game. Now, the Browns are hoping to rediscover their defensive magic again and start 1-0 for the first time since 2004.
- Kevin Stefanski announces he will call the plays on offense (cleveland.com) - Browns coach Kevin Stefanski finally ended the suspense, announcing Friday he’ll call the plays this season over offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, beginning with Sunday’s game in Baltimore.
- Mature beyond his years, Kevin Stefanski was destined to become a head coach (Browns Zone) - Kevin Stefanski wasn’t a typical little boy. Most preschoolers don’t have the discipline and patience to think before acting, but Stefanski was already weighing the pros and cons of certain scenarios.
- What to expect from rookie quarterbacks in 2020 (ESPN) - Zac Taylor, the second-year coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, was kind enough to return a call last week. His team drafted quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in April’s NFL draft, and I told him we were doing a story about expectations for rookie quarterbacks. His first response was basically that he didn’t feel like he had one.
- Patriots reportedly give cornerback Stephon Gilmore $5 million pay raise for 2020 season (Boston Globe) - Stephon Gilmore was jogging and stretching at Patriots practice Friday just as news leaked that the cornerback had been given a significant salary bump. According to an ESPN report, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year was rewarded with a $5 million raise, increasing his salary to $15.5 million.
- QB Index, Week 1: Ranking all 32 starters entering 2020 NFL season (NFL.com) - In Ken Burns’ epic 2001 documentary Jazz, critic Gary Giddins noted that Louis Armstrong arrived on the scene 30 years after the birth of the music, yet still emerged as American culture’s answer to Shakespeare or Dante.
- Houston’s pass protection creates a major concern for Deshaun Watson (PFF) - All of the headlines surrounding the Houston Texans this offseason were focused on the skill position players. With the massive extension given to quarterback Deshaun Watson and the shift in offense that came with trading away elite wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the focus was always going to be on those areas. But the team’s opening night loss at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs raised the question of whether this team’s season will be determined in the trenches.