'More freedom' bodes well for Browns' Myles Garrett

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Though his NFL career is only two seasons old, Myles Garrett played a full 16-game slate for the first time in 2018 and truly showcased the reason he was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Superman's 13.5-sack season garnered him a Pro Bowl bid and was a signature account for the Browns' rise into NFL fandom's consciousness.

With 2019 drawing closer, Garrett believes his play can improve now that some things around him have changed and, in turn, freed him up.

"I hopefully have more freedom to be the player I want to be," Garrett said via Cleveland.com's Jake Burns. "Gregg [Williams] was more like: 'You win with these two moves. I don't want to see anything else out of you.' It's kind of hard with two moves. I feel like you can't always be so predictable."

Though Williams, who has since departed to the New York Jets to be their defensive coordinator, paid dividends as the Browns interim coach it would seem his brand of individual coaching might have confined the dynamic pass rusher.

"You can be as strong or fast as you want, but speed chop and power move aren't always going to work," Garrett said. "You have to mix up what you're doing. Sometimes you have to stutter step, sometimes you have to spin inside, you have to run some games. You have to have some freedom to throw different looks at them, and we didn't always have that."

An immediate argument to that line of thinking would be, simply, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

After all, it seems as if Garrett flourished in Williams' defense and under his tutelage, going from seven sacks in 2017 (though that was in only 11 games) to the aforementioned 13.5.

Allowing Garrett to be Garrett and get more creative will certainly be fun to watch play out, however.

And he's certainly putting in the work this offseason.

He showed off his strength and agility to the tune of doing box jumps with 40-pound dumbbells.

And recently, he also took part in another training camp, that of former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Miocic, who brought Cleveland a world championship in May of 2016 with a devastating knockout of Fabricio Werdum, is preparing for an Aug. 17 title rematch with Daniel Cormier.

So, no doubt Garrett worked on his agility, maybe some footwork and his toughness.

By all accounts, Garrett is in shape, inspired and free to wreak havoc on quarterbacks as he deems fit.

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