Myles Garrett joins Browns starters: 'He's earned it'


Myles Garrett's life as an NFL backup was brief.

The first-overall pick in the draft spent Wednesday's practice with Cleveland's starting defense, a transition coach Hue Jackson simply couldn't delay another day.

"It's time," Jackson said, per the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. "You can only keep a guy down so long. He's earned it."

Jackson went on to say that Garrett's teammates began to wonder why the pass-rusher wasn't already playing with the first-team defense.

Garrett made it clear he belonged there almost immediately, though, whipping past All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas to sack Browns quarterback Cody Kessler.

"I saw a blur go around me," Jackson said. "I'm not surprised at anything he does."

NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala noted that Garrett stayed long after practice ended to sign autographs for a fan base given very heroes to root for since Cleveland's return to the league in 1999.

By all accounts, Garrett -- on and off the field -- gives the Browns a talent to build around for years to come.

Hall of Fame pass-rusher Bruce Smith was on hand Wednesday to work with Garrett, a player he's taken under his wing since the Browns selected him. The Bills legend told Kinkhabwala that "it feels good" to play teacher to Garrett, saying: "Especially when you have a pupil who gets it."

The Browns have whiffed on a laundry list of first-rounders this century, which only places more pressure on Garrett to shine -- almost right away.

Early signs, though, suggest Garrett to be a different breed than some of the ham-and-eggers the team has selected in recent years.