After a pair of seasons in Cleveland, Clowney burnt his bridge with the Browns ahead of the final game of the season. With the Browns outside of the playoff picture prior to their finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Clowney ripped his coaches and star pass-rusher Myles Garrett in a rant to Cleveland.com. He was not active for the finale.
“You’re all trying to get [Garrett] into the Hall of Fame instead of winning games,” Clowney said. “I don’t even think he notices. I ain’t trying to say it’s him. I try to get along with everybody I play with. Me and him don’t have a problem. It ain’t his fault, and it’s B.S., and I don’t have time for it.”
The Browns were in need of pass-rush help this offseason but didn’t consider Clowney, likely due to his remarks. He didn’t want to address the comments ahead of the matchup against the Browns.
“I’m not going to talk about nothing that happened, with the teammates, coaching staff, nothing,” Clowney told reporters on Wednesday, September 27. “It was locker room talk that got out. I don’t care what happened last year. I play for the Baltimore Ravens now.”
However, he isn’t looking for any kind of revenge ahead of the matchup.
“I don’t think I ever necessarily need no extra motivation,” he said. “It’s a division game. I have a lot of respect for a lot of guys over there, a lot of friends over there. I hope for them the best, but not against us.”
Clowney on Browns Ending: I Ended Up on Wrong Side of Fence
After the incident, Clowney apologized for his comments and issued a statement that said they were “completely misrepresented.” He tried to explain what happened a little more ahead of his first matchup with the Browns.
“We weren’t winning a lot of games, and a lot of people were pointing fingers,” Clowney said. “I ended up on the wrong side of the fence, I guess.”
Clowney is off to a good start with the Ravens. He’s playing around 65% of the snaps and has 1.5 sacks and eight tackles. Clowney managed just two sacks all of last season with the Browns, albeit he was limited by injuries.
Browns Defense Among NFL’s Best Through 3 Weeks
The Browns defense hasn’t missed Clowney, with Garrett and Co. establishing their new-look unit under Jim Schwartz as one of the NFL’s best. The Browns have allowed just 163.7 yards and 10.7 points per game — both tops in the league.
“I mean our defense is playing lights out,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said Sunday, September 24. “So, from the players to coach Schwartz, the defensive coaches. We’re playing at a high level. Now you have to continue to play at a high level. Every week is going be a different challenge.”
Garrett has put himself firmly in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year and is coming off a monster 3.5-sack performance against the Tennessee Titans.
“The guy’s a freak,” Browns safety Juan Thornhill said. “If you have to have two guys protect him, then it’s hard to stop him. His IQ is at another level.”
The Browns will head into an early bye week after facing the Ravens and would love to head into the short break with a 3-1 record.