CLEVELAND (AP) – Myles Garrett has enjoyed chasing quarterfinals and trying to destroy games alongside Jadeveon Clowney this season. He would love to do it again.
“I want him here,” Garrett said.
And what Garrett wants, he usually gets.
Despite everything that went wrong with the Browns in a disappointing season, one thing worked as well – or better – than expected: the pair of fellow No.1 Garrett and Clowney, disruptive forces and weird athletes.
Garrett wraps up his best season as a pro (15 sacks before Sunday’s final against Cincinnati) and attributes some of his success to playing ahead of Clowney, who signed a one-year free agent contract for $ 8million. in dollars – with $ 2 million more in incentives – in April with Cleveland, his fourth team in four seasons.
And now that he’s a teammate with Clowney, Garrett wants their partnership to continue.
Last week Garrett said he would make a strong argument for Clowney to stay, and he said on Friday that it happened.
“A few times,” he said. “He had two sacks in the last game. He was disruptive. I think he’s disruptive every time he’s there, especially when we’re there together and they just can’t grab one of us.
“So the guy hits his stride and he has a lot of football left and he doesn’t know it.”
Clowney has said he is open to a new signing with the Browns (7-9), but there has been no formal discussion with the team. He is expected to become a free agent in March.
Browns general manager Andrew Berry had repeatedly pursued Clowney unsuccessfully before finally landing him last year.
And now that the Browns have had a taste of Garrett and Clowney together, it would be surprising if they didn’t try to keep him that way.
With Cleveland, Clowney, 28, has seven sacks, his record since 2018 with Houston. He has also been in good health, played 13 games and only missed two after testing positive for COVID-19.
He’s also had some of those overpowering moments that seemed too rare over the past few seasons.
Clowney said last week that he appreciated all that Cleveland has to offer.
“It was one of the fastest seasons because of the guys I played with,” he said. “A great group of guys, a fun group, the coaching staff are laid back and everything is going pretty well. I enjoyed my time, enjoyed this year so far. Can’t wait to see this that will happen next year in the future for me. “
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Clowney not only got into a good mix with Garrett, but fitted in well with a defensive line that also added tackle Malik Jackson and forward Takk McKinley .
“Great camaraderie within this group,” he said. “Malik Jackson is right in the middle of that. This group has been training really hard, just watching them go over their selves, the amount of energy and effort they are using on the training ground.
“And then they play hard during the game. So Myles and Jadeveon and how they play, how they put pressure on the quarterback, attack the run, that stuff is very telling about the whole group of positions.”
When Clowney and Garrett are lined up at opposite ends, it forces the infractions into the awkward position of being accountable for each of them.
If Garrett is double or triple (as has sometimes been the case), it leaves Clowney free to beat his man and reach QB – and vice versa.
“It works both ways,” Stefanski said. “It’s hard as an offense to pay attention to multiple players. You have to make decisions as to how you’re going to do it, whether you slip a line one way every time or put a tight end. or backtrack to that side each time.
“So the more guys you have in defense that get attention the offense certainly plays to the advantage of these players.”
REMARKS: Clowney (neck / shoulder) was limited to training on Friday and his status for Sunday remains unclear. The RB Nick Chubb (chest / ribs) is also a question mark. Stefanski didn’t rule out any player, saying: “I would expect if the guys can play, they will play.”