Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett knows what it feels like to be the primary focus of the opposing team’s offense each week.
But the game plan the Houston Texans employed against him in Week 2 left Garrett frustrated - and not just with the Texans.
Garrett met with the media on Friday and shared his frustrations over not having the opportunity to face Houston left tackle Laremy Tunsil one-on-one (quotes via cleveland.com):
“I don’t think I’ve ever been chipped so much in my life. They pay me too much money and that left tackle over there [Laremy] Tunsil too much money to mess up the show we were supposed to have one-on-one. But I’ve got to expect this and we’ve got to adjust to it.’’
Garrett then turned his attention to the Browns side of the ball and pointed out that when he is taking on two (and sometimes three) blockers, that should open up an opportunity for someone else to make a play, which is currently not happening on a consistent basis:
“For me, it’s tough watching my teammates not being able to make a play because when I see the offense keying on me with chips and stuff like that, I’m like well, they’re taking a player out of play to stop me, so we have a one-on-one,. And to see that they’re not making the play, it’s kind of frustrating because I want to see them go out there and make big plays and we’ve got to get there.
“I’m trying to take two or three men, however many, to take out of the pass or the run, so we have to take advantage of that. And I know that they’re not always going to do that [chip and double] me. They’re going to do that for other players as soon as they step up and start making big plays, but right now, we all have to make plays. We all have to earn that respect.’’
Garrett makes a legitimate point as Cleveland’s rebuilt defense has yet to make much of an impact through the first two games of the season. While sacks are not the defining statistic, Garrett is the only defensive end on the team who currently has one, and the defense as a whole is struggling to find its footing with so many new faces in the lineup.
Cleveland will have a chance to remedy that on Sunday against Chicago as the Bears have one of the league’s weakest offensive lines, left tackle Jason Peters has been dealing with a quad injury since Week 1, and the offense is only averaging 17 points per game.
Garrett has shown that he can do a lot of things on a football field, even if he has to work his way through two or three blockers to make a play.
The time has arrived for the rest of the defense to show that they are up to the task of doing the same, especially if they are being tasked with beating just a single blocker.