It will take more than a single man to turn around the wandering ship known as the Cleveland Browns.
First-overall draft pick Myles Garrett said it himself Friday, telling NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala: “One person can’t win games.”
Still, if anyone in this year’s draft was tagged as a solo wrecking crew, it was Garrett, the whirlwind, mesmerizing pass rusher out of Texas A&M who prompted one scout to tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “When that guy came down the assembly line, it was a special day for the Almighty.”
The Browns, though, haven’t enjoyed a winning season in nearly a decade and still have plenty of needs on both sides of the ball.
“It takes a culmination of all these guys coming together and just having the attitude that we’re not going to lose. And that’s what we’re going to do. I can’t be a savior,” Garrett said. “But I can be the best I can be. I can give it my all and make plays and dominate my side of the field, but it takes all 11 guys with a certain thought process that we’re going to go out there and we’re going to win.”
Garrett did his part to usher in that new “thought process” by announcing post-draft that he’s looking forward to sacking Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the opener. After being systematically embarrassed by Big Ben over the past the 13 seasons, Cleveland has no problem with someone finally setting a new course.
“We’re not scared of it,” executive VP of football operations Sashi Brown said Wednesday, via The Plain Dealer. “Myles, if you go back and look at his [introductory] press conference, has the right amount of levity balancing that confidence.”
Garrett told Kinkhabwala that any Big Ben prognostications must be attached to real-life production.
“You just gotta back up your words. Don’t be scared from it or don’t shy from it,” Garrett said. “Make sure, if you’re willing to say something, that you worked hard enough and prepared well enough to back those things up.”
It’s ridiculous to ask one uber-athletic pass rusher to save a team. Still, Garrett carries the burden that all No. 1 overall picks take into their NFL careers. He will be watched closely from the first snap and shoved under a microscope that few athletes — few humans — can understand.
Plenty of former first-round picks in Cleveland utterly crumbled under the gravity of it all. If Garrett can be different, the long-lost Browns might finally end their trance-like walk through endless night.