Browns Star Myles Garrett Issues Bold Defense of Embattled Coach

Myles Garrett

Getty Images Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns.

Myles Garrett has his coach’s back, despite growing calls for Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods to be let go.

The Browns’ defense was anticipated to be a strength of the team heading into the season but inconsistent performances and untimely meltdowns from the unit have hampered the team’s success.

Woods has been under fire for the performance of the defense and an overall lack of in-game adjustments, with many calling for him to be let go. Garrett said he hasn’t heard the noise and will continue to have his coach’s back as long as he’s in charge of the defense.

“I only hear that chatter when y’all tell it to me,” Garrett told reporters on Thursday. “I don’t go out and look for it and then it usually doesn’t find my phone. So, no, I don’t get much of a commentary here for ‘fire Joe Woods or new DC.’ All that doesn’t mean anything to me. We are what we are. He’s our DC, and at the end of the day we’re on the field executing his calls, whether it’s a perfect call or not.

“I don’t believe in perfect calls, we have to go out there and execute whatever he calls and make him right. Could there be better calls for situations? Of course. But he’s not perfect, neither are we. So we have to be able to go out there and make the most out of it and perform at a high level.”

Woods: Criticism Part of the Business

The Browns rank as a middle-of-the-pack defense but also have some strong talent in Garrett, Denzel Ward, Jadeveon Clowney and others that should have them in a higher tier. Cleveland is giving up 343.8 yards and 24.8 points per game.

Woods responded to the criticism he received earlier this year and was very matter-of-fact about what he’s been facing.

“(Criticism) is a part of the business,” Woods said in November. “For me, you can’t let it affect you. You can’t ride the emotional rollercoaster. I know what type of business I am in – it is a fair business – but we are in the business of winning, and right now, we are not doing it so that criticism is going to come. It’s deserved in some instances. I promise you, I am trying to do everything I can to get the thing turned around, but we have to execute and we have to play better on game day.”

Garrett Pushing for Defensive Player of the Year

While the Browns defense has disappointed as a whole, Garrett has churned out another Pro Bowl-caliber year. He’s tied for the second-most sacks in the league at 12 and leads the NFL in pass-rush win rate (28.7%). Garrett also faces the most double teams in the league at his position, seeing an additional blocker 31.5% of the time.

Garrett has been clear about his goal of being named Defensive Player of the Year and feels like he’s still a top contender for the award with four games left.

“I’d like to think that I’m in the thick of it and there’s four games left and there’s no reason why I can’t be at the top of the sack leader board,” Garrett said. “So I’m going keep on continuing to play at a high level, high effort and give the most to these guys, and at the end of the day whatever’s said and done, I gave my all for my guys.”

The Browns’ next test will be against the Baltimore Ravens and mobile quarterback Tyler Hutley.

Read More