After another loss, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is concerned the team is wasting the prime stretches of some of their key players.
The Browns fell to 3-7 with the loss and now appear firmly out of the playoff chase, even with the return of Deshaun Watson coming. Garrett — who had three tackles and a sack — hasn’t lost all hope in terms of a postseason berth but is worried about the team wasting the “prime” of key players.
“We have to make sure that we don’t waste the talent that we have in its prime right now. We have to do our best with it,” Garrett said after the loss. “There are seven more games that we can use the talent that we have all over the field and make the most out of it. We still have a lot of opportunities left to keep on fighting and put ourselves in position to go to the playoffs. It is not as much in our hands as we want it to be, but it is definitely not out of the conversation yet.”
The 26-year-old Garrett is among the players the Browns have in their prime, along with cornerback Denzel Ward and running back Nick Chubb. All have recently been locked up with long-term deals, as well as Watson, who inked a five-year, $230 million contract after being traded to the Browns.
Browns Defense Falls Apart Again Against Bills
It’s a tough pill to swallow but there weren’t sky-high expectations for the Browns for this season, with Watson out for the first 11 games. Jacoby Brissett has performed admirably and probably above expectations. But he has been far from a game-changer for the Browns, tossing some untimely interceptions.
While the offense has had some issues, the defense has been even more disappointing and Garrett’s statement could be a message on the guidance of defensive coordinator Joe Woods, who has been under fire for the unit’s lack of consistency.
The Bills played far from a perfect game but still racked up 357 yards of offense, including 171 yards on the ground. Garrett was spotted sitting alone on the bench after the final whistle blew.
“Just disappointed,” Garrett said of his mindset during that moment. “We are too good of a team to have this record that we have right now. We just have to be better. It is frustrating. There is a lot of emotion going through your head when you let another slip away when it is 13-10 going into the locker room, catch the momentum, doing well on defense and then we just don’t finish.”
Garrett Stresses Mindset During Practice
There’s no easy fix for the Browns, which has been evident through the first 10 games. But Garrett thinks it starts on the practice field, with more emphasis on forcing takeaways.
“It just has to be more of an emphasis in practice. It has been a lack of importance when we go out there and practice,” Garrett said “It has to be more important to us if we want to force those takeaways in the game. We have goals that we set in practice, and we are not reaching them. I think we have to be better. I think that is the first start.”
The Browns are forcing less than one turnover per game and did not have one against the Bills.