Myles Garrett will have plenty to prove to the Cleveland Browns in 2020, but none of it involves his production on his football field. Garrett is coming off an indefinite suspension that cost him the final six games of the 2019 season, one which garnered him a reputation aside from being one of the game's young pass rushers.
2020 is about redemption for Garrett, and new Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods believes he is on the right path.
"I think Myles has the right mindset in terms of wanting to be MVP and all of that, but we just need him to be the best player for us that he can be, and whatever happens, happens," Woods said in a conference call last week, via NFL.com. "Right now, I think he is in a good place."
Garrett was suspended indefinitely after swinging his helmet, which crowned the head of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph after the two players scrambled on the ground following a hit Garrett put on Rudolph in the final seconds of Cleveland's win over Pittsburgh last November. While Rudolph appeared to attempt to rip Garrett's helmet off, Garrett was the one who accomplished the task with Rudolph and committed the egregious act seconds later.
That wasn't Garrett's first offense in 2019. In Week 1, Garrett punched Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker after the whistle, which led to a fine. The next week, he ended New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian's season with a late hit, resulting in over $52,000 worth of fines.
The fines and suspension took away Garrett's strong season, in which he had 29 tackles, 10 sacks, 18 quarterback hits, and 46 pressures in 10 games. This is a year after Garrett recorded 13.5 sacks, 84 pressures, and 29 quarterback hits when he played all 16 games. Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, has 30.5 sacks in three seasons.
Time for Garrett to restore his reputation.
"He is focused on getting better. He is focused on being a good teammate," Woods said. "He has been in the meetings. He is trying to step up and take more of a leadership role. I definitely think he is moving in the right direction and has the right mindset."