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Myles Garrett’s response to discipline could decide Browns future

A whole lot of nothing or more meaningful (good or bad)?

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 NFL season is over for the Cleveland Browns despite needing to play out the final two games of the year. Earlier this weekend we encouraged the team to sit six veterans who didn’t need to see the field for those last two games. The top guy on the list, DE Myles Garrett, was an easy one to put on there.

The Browns got a little ahead of schedule by sitting Garrett down for the first series against the New Orleans Saints in Week 16 for discipline reasons. HC Kevin Stefanski wouldn’t provide any more information only stating “That was just a team thing. That was my decision,” during Monday’s press availability.

According to Mary Kay Cabot, the discipline stemmed from poor communication last week when Garrett was ill. Simplified, Garrett was a “no call, no show” for practice.

Stefanski rarely provides more information than required so we are unlikely to learn anything more about the situation from the team’s side. Garrett, as a star of the team, has weekly press availability and could shed light on the situation.

There are three ways we could see Garrett handling it:

  • Minimize and accept the discipline
  • Somewhat cryptic, negative statements about the situation
  • Rally behind his coach's decision and support Stefanski

None of these are particularly right or wrong ways to respond. None of us know the details that led to the discipline so assuming Garrett should respond in a certain way would be based on very few facts.

However, how Garrett responds, both publicly and privately, could have a huge impact on the team’s future. As Thomas Moore asked earlier, how Garrett responds could answer the question “Will the Browns ever get it right?

If Garrett is publicly supportive of Stefanski’s decision and backs that up privately with his teammates, the team will move forward knowing no player is above team discipline but that the team’s best player accepted it and supported it.

If Garrett is publicly or privately negative about the decision by Stefanski, it could lead to problems in the short and long-term. Besides winning, a head coach’s biggest job is to be on the same page with his star players. Make no mistake, if any team (besides the New England Patriots) had to choose between Garrett and their coach, the coach is likely out the door.

Hopefully, we will get to hear from Garrett sooner than later. Hopefully, fans and media (including this article) are making more of the situation than Garrett or his teammates are. Hopefully, the team can be united going into this offseason.

Garrett has a lot of power to influence all of that.