×

Browns star Garrett unsatisfied by personal success, driven to take team to Super Bowl

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett participates in a drill during an NFL football practice in Berea, Ohio, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

BEREA — The chase hasn’t ended for Myles Garrett, only intensified.

While the Cleveland Browns’ superstar defensive end feels humbled by the accolades, awards and adulation that keeps funneling his way, he doesn’t find any satisfaction on that road.

“Never,” Garrett said. “It’ll never be enough.”

As he approaches his eighth season in Cleveland and coming on the heels of reaching a personal goal by being voted AP Defensive Player of the Year, the dominant Garrett said Wednesday he has a clear vision of what he wants next.

“Have everyone be healthy and go win the Super Bowl,” he said. “That’s where my eyes are only.”

The 28-year-old Garrett is in the prime of a career that could lead to a bronze bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame once he decides to quit overpowering offensive linemen while sacking quarterbacks for a living.

That date is closer now, heightening a sense of urgency in Garrett, who has grown an appreciation for his football mortality after being slowed by injuries in the past.

But until that time arrives, and as long as his 6-foot-4, 280-pound body doesn’t betray him, Garrett intends to push himself beyond his limits.

It’s hard to imagine him reaching another level, but Garrett believes he must.

“More of everything,” he said when asked what else he can do. “Just more. More leadership. More plays. Being more vocal. Being more inspired. Whatever I can do. Being more attentive, allowing a room full of guys to be themselves.

“We want more personality. We want more culture. There’s so much more we can build on it because we left so many plays out there, myself included.”

Garrett finished with 14 sacks last season, leading a Browns defense that rose from embarrassing to elite under first-year coordinator Jim Schwartz.

The unit led the NFL in numerous statistical categories, including fewest yards and points allowed and with quarterback Joe Flacco stepping out of semi-retirement to rescue Cleveland’s injury-ravaged offense, the Browns’ season went from sorrowful to storybook.

Super Bowl chatter erupted.

That dream died in the playoffs.

The Browns got blown out 45-14 in the wild-card round by Houston as Texans rookie C.J. Stroud, protected by a line that reduced Garrett to a non-factor, shredded Cleveland’s secondary.

Going on six months since, Garrett hasn’t shaken the loss.

“It’s definitely at the forefront of my mind always,” he said. “That’s the last taste of football that we all had. I plan to make that apparent to everyone and continue to keep it as motivation for myself that we stepped out, we didn’t get the job done, we didn’t execute and we fell short of our goals.

“Regardless of the injuries and anything else that transpired, we fell short and we didn’t complete the mission. So we have to lock back in. We have to circle the wagons and figure out how we can get better.”

Garrett has found a way to do that every season.

A tireless worker, he has continued to perfect new moves and ways of beating the double- and triple-teams he faces on nearly every snap.

Garrett also has spent the past few years studying stars in other sports — LeBron James, Tom Brady and Lionel Messi to name a few — in hopes of tapping into what drove them to greater success.

He won’t settle.

“Not going to stop until the body tells me it’s time to hang them up,” he said. “Until I stop having fun. Until I stop loving this game and wanting to be in here with my teammates. Until that stage, I’m going to be in here giving my all and just trying to do my best to improve this team.”

The DPOY award was on his personal to-do list. He’s checked it off.

Next is a Super Bowl trip and league title that has eluded the Browns since 1964.

Garrett wants it. Not for himself, but Cleveland and his teammates.

“Don’t care about legacy,” he said. “I want it for the city. I want it for those guys in there. My legacy, it’ll speak for itself once it’s said and done. I want it for those guys because they deserve it.”

NOTES: WR Amari Cooper missed the second day of minicamp in a contract dispute. Cooper is entering his final year under contract at $20 million for this season. He’s surpassed 1,000 yards in receiving in his two seasons with the Browns, the first player in club history to do that. … WR Jerry Jeudy was on the field but working to the side as he rehabs an unspecified injury.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *
   

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today