If Myles Garrett is going to put the ugly helmet-swinging incident of last season behind him, former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson believes it’ll take a mighty effort off the field to repair his image.
“It’s not going to be about his talent, it’s going to be about how he handles the media and what has happened,” Jackson said. “You can’t be bitter about it. You gotta accept it and move on.”
Jackson previously backed Garrett shortly after the incident, saying: “That’s not the Myles Garrett that I know. He’s a tremendous football player but [also] a tremendous person.”
Jackson, who was fired midway through last season, famously went 3-36-1 over his three and a half seasons in Cleveland. That included a dreaded 0-16 season in 2017.
Hue Jackson: Myles Garrett Will be ‘Contrite’ About Actions
Garrett is suspended indefinitely for an incident during the season where he struck Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with a helmet, inciting chaos during the team’s Week 11 matchup.
It was a wild scene, but it stunned those who knew Garrett best considering his baseline demeanor as a self-described pacifist.
“Myles will be very contrite about what happened,” said Jackson, admitting he was shocked when he saw the events unfold. “That’s where it has to start. The act was something we had all never seen before. He does have to go rebuild himself that way. He’s one of the most talented players and people I’ve been around. … Do I think that he can rebuild from it? Yes, I do.”
Myles Garrett Not Expected to Miss Games Next Season
Commissioner Roger Goodell said he plans to meet with the Browns indefinitely suspended defensive end within the next 60 days to make a decision on reinstatement, according to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. Goodell made the statement before his annual Super Bowl press conference from Miami.
Garrett — who was on track for a second Pro Bowl season with 10 sacks — was hit with an indefinite suspension from the NFL after he ripped off the helmet of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him over the head with it. Garrett sat out the final six games of the Browns season with the suspension, but reports indicate he will likely not miss anytime during the 2020 season.
Garrett has shown remorse over the incident, but didn’t back off a claim that became public from his hearing, which was that Rudolph said a racial slur towards him, sparking the brawl.
“I was assured that the hearing was space that afforded the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the incident that led to my suspension. This was not meant for public dissemination, nor was it a convenient attempt to justify my actions or restore my image in the eyes of those I disappointed.
“I know what I heard. Whether my opponent’s comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans.”