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Jun. 11—Myles Garrett hasn't been a professional football player long enough to forget what it was like growing up in Texas as a Cowboys fan not being able to meet the players he idolized.
The Browns' star defensive end held the first of his two-day ProCamp at Gilmour on June 11. He paused briefly from throwing passes to the young campers and then playing defense against them to chat with a small group of reporters. He attended basketball camps in his youth but he said one reason he decided to host the current camp is he did not get the same opportunity when he was young. It wouldn't be accurate to write "when Garrett was little" because he never was little.
"The football players and stars I idolized back then, I never got to see," Garrett said. "This is an opportunity to give back and learn something I never learned before."
Garrett's passes, truth be told, were not always on target. He joked about being more accustomed to chasing down quarterbacks than being one.
#Browns defensive end Myles Garrett shows off his passing skills Saturday morning at his ProCamp at Gilmour Academy. pic.twitter.com/IkgqU00jgV
— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) June 11, 2022
The representative from ProCamps running the show told reporters they could not ask Garrett any football questions. The reporters nodded, and then after a couple minutes steered the conversation toward the Browns' defense. The reporters were not about to waste a beautiful Saturday morning to give free advertising to an outfit that seems to have a monopoly on youth camps regardless the sport.
The Browns were 11-5 in 2020 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They won a playoff game, beating the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, for the first time since 1994. They collapsed last year under the weight of injuries and expectations.
Garrett learned a lesson from the disappointment of 2021: Block out the outside noise. He wants his teammates in orange helmets to do the same.
"I don't like to put too many expectations on the team," he said. "Those guys know where my head is and what I expect out of them. We've had the Super Bowl talk and going deep in the playoffs. I don't want those guys to be worried about the outside media and have external weight on their shoulders. I want them to come into the building ready to work and not worry about what's being said on the outside."
Garrett was asked if losing Deshaun Watson to a lengthy suspension by the NFL could "sabotage" the season. All he would say is his football camp "is not the time for that."
PHOTOS: Myles Garrett football camp at Gilmour Academy, June 11, 2022
Six of the Browns' nine losses last season were by six or fewer points. What can the defense do to flip script?
"We have to put it all together, be aggressive and make those stops when we need them," Garrett said. "There were a lot of games when we needed one more play or a takeaway or something like that. We have to be able to put the ball in the hands of our offense and they have to finish it."
Garrett was asked if he is doing anything this offseason to improve his game another notch. Garrett had a career best 16 sacks last season. But he notched 10.5 of them in September and October. He had 3.5 sacks in November, one in December and one in January. It breaks down to three sacks in the last seven games and only one sack in the last four.
"I can't give away my secrets and have other defensive linemen try to see who I'm seeing," Garrett said. "That's not right. I have to keep my secrets to myself. I'm trying to take it to the next level. I can't allow anybody to do what I'm doing.
"I feel like each year I have to do something a little bit different, add a little flavor to my game. There's nothing different about that this year. I'm trying to get a little bit better."
Garrett has 58.5 career sacks. He is 18 sacks behind Clay Matthews, the Browns all-time leader with 76.5 career sacks.