The Cleveland Browns are once again back at square one for 2019, with another new coaching staff, and at least one player is glad defensive coordinator/interim head coach Gregg Williams is gone.
In a profile written by Dan Pompei for Bleacher Report, pass-rusher Myles Garrett — who might be one of the most interesting men in the NFL — says he felt Williams limited him.
‘I hopefully have more freedom’
Specifically, Garrett says, Williams dictated how many moves he could use.
“I hopefully have more freedom to be the player I want to be,” the Pro Bowler said. “Gregg was more like: ‘You win with these two moves. I don’t want to see anything else out of you.’ It’s kind of hard with two moves. I feel like you can’t always be so predictable.
“You can be as strong or fast as you want, but speed chop and power move aren't always going to work. You have to mix up what you're doing. Sometimes you have to stutter-step, sometimes you have to spin inside, you have to run some games. You have to have some freedom to throw different looks at them, and we didn't always have that.”
If Williams indeed limited Garrett, it will be interesting to see what he does this season under Steve Wilks as Garrett had 13.5 sacks last year.
Not Garrett’s first criticism of Williams
It’s not the first time Garrett has been critical of Williams, a veteran coordinator who is now with the New York Jets.
After a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Oct. 28, the 23-year-old disagreed with the gameplan Williams had put forth.
“I think we just took the wrong approach this time. I think we should’ve just stayed with what we did the first time, just go with base calls and punch them in the mouth,” Garrett said. “I feel like we should’ve stuck with the same gameplan.”
The Browns had tied Pittsburgh, 21-21, in the season opener, when the defense forced six turnovers, but had just two in the 33-18 loss in October.
‘I’ll focus on other training’
Pompei’s whole feature is worth a read, but one anecdote was particularly fun.
In late January, while playing basketball at a Cleveland gym, Garrett slammed home the game-winning basket with such ferocity that he shattered the backboard.
New Browns coach Freddie Kitchens saw the picture, got in touch with his young star and made a not-so-gentle request that Garrett retire from basketball.
“All right,” Garrett told Kitchens. “I hear you loud and clear. I’ll focus on other training. There are other ways to do it.”
Garrett has long loved basketball; it was his first sporting love, and he was able to dunk when he was 12. His half-brother, Sean Williams, played five seasons in the NBA.
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