The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Cleveland Browns’ pass-rusher Myles Garrett, is a unique guy.
He’s doing his job on the field – he has 11.5 sacks (on pace to break the 50-year-old single-season team record) and 22 quarterback hits so far this season, both top 5 in the NFL — but off the field, he’s apt to be by himself, driving and taking photos.
On Friday, Mary Kay Cabot, the longtime Browns reporter for cleveland.com, published an interview she did with Garrett during training camp in which Garrett reveals some personal secrets.
‘He signed up for this’
Garrett is something of an old soul, and much prefers classic musical artists like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Ella Fitzgerald to current acts, though he does like Ed Sheeran, Adele and Drake.
Cabot asks if he feels like he was born in the wrong era and Garrett says only when it comes to music.
The Texas native, who will turn 23 later this month, won’t intentionally kill a bug. Cabot asks how he reconciles that he won’t kill bugs but will relishes leveling quarterbacks.
His answer is pretty logical.
“Well, [the quarterback] kind of signed up for this. The bug didn’t,” Garrett said. “The bug is minding his own business. He’s just doing what nature created him to do. We both signed up for me hitting you and you trying to get the ball off before I hit you.”
‘I’m more of a loner’
Though he’s young enough that he’s never really known a time without cell phones, Garrett isn’t tethered to his. He’s rather not be.
“You’ve got to set it down,” he said. “If I’m at dinner, I want to set it down unless it’s something important. That’s how I was taught. I didn’t have a cell phone for awhile, until I was like 13 or 14 and before then, even if I did have one, it didn’t work. You played Snake on it. That’s what we had a cell phone for, when my mother would let us use it. When you had it, you set it down at the table, you set it down in the other room, we ate and you enjoyed your time with your family.”
But because he’s not big on talking on the phone, Garrett said he has a “bad rap” in his family. He’d rather talk to them in person, though he will FaceTime with them.
On off days, “I like to go and take pictures. I like to take long drives, I like to just enjoy the world and know what it is. What’s popular today, I don’t like to be on my phone too much or on Twitter or Instagram. I just enjoy being out,” Garrett said.
One of his other off-day activities: writing poetry, usually centered around love (he said the woman of his dreams has to be able to make him laugh and be kind). Garrett has posted a few on his Instagram page, along with some of his nature photos.
Family history, advice influence clean lifestyle
One of Garrett’s siblings is former NBA forward Sean Williams. A first-round pick out of Boston College in 2007, Williams played just 137 games over parts of five seasons (he still plays overseas, currently in Bahrain). He was dismissed by Boston College in 2007 for multiple rules violations, including an arrest for marijuana possession in 2005. Williams has admitted that his fondness for marijuana got in the way of his NBA success.
After seeing his brother’s struggles, and the impact it had on his family, Garrett has decided to avoid alcohol and drugs.
“I learned to stay away from weed and really just drugs in general,” Garrett said. “I’ve never had any contact with them, not personally. Just taking his advice. He told me himself if he could go back, he wouldn’t do it.
“I never wanted to see that reaction, that feeling from all of us toward him. We weren’t angry at him. We just wanted better for him and he wanted better for himself. Now he’s always been growing as a person, and we’re proud of him, and we love him regardless of whether he’s up or down, but I’d rather not have my family go through something like that.”
While some NFL players have said that they wouldn’t want their son or daughter to play football because of the consequences of playing and the toll it takes on your mental and physical well-being, Garrett will “let my son or daughter do anything that’s legal and makes them happy, whatever they’re passionate about, whatever they give 110 percent to, I’ll be happy to support them to do it.”
But Garrett only wants to play in the NFL for 10 or 12 years, long enough to make his mark, hopefully bring a Super Bowl to Cleveland, but early enough that he can enjoy time with his family and “hopefully with all my mind intact.”
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