DE Myles Garrett (1.1.21)

DE Myles Garrett:

On being named the game captain for this week: 

“It kind of just worked out this way. I wanted to be the captain for the Cowboys game, me being from Dallas, and that kind of slipped the Coach (Head Coach Kevin Stefanski)’s mind and he asked me what game I wanted to be captain for, and I was like, ‘I want to be captain for the last one.’ I knew it would be a big game for us. It was kind of early on, but I kind of ended up being right. This is a playoff game for us. If we win, we will be looking at a rematch with them so this is a big one.”

On Steelers QB Mason Rudolph saying he would be happy to hear from him and if he wants to reach out to Rudolph: 

“I have no problem reaching out to him or talking to him before or after the game. I would never say I am smack talking during the game. I will just enjoy it. I will go out there and play the best I can. At the end of the day, it is not me versus him. It is me versus their line and the Steelers versus the Browns. If he wants to talk after the game, talk before the game or whatever happens, let it come naturally. I do not think anybody has any problems with each other. Just have to go with the flow.”

On how he is feeling and recovering from any lingering COVID-19 issues: 

“I feel pretty good. I have gradually been getting better and moving better. It was not fun not to be able to get into the facility yesterday, but being able to work from home and just trying to be proactive when these days happen just in case we have all kinds of contingencies. Just being able to be ready to go out there with whoever we have at hand this Sunday.”

On how much winning this game would mean to him, the city and everybody in the organization: 

“It would mean a lot. Our entrance to the playoffs has not happened for many years here. You want to be successful as a player, no matter where and no matter when. Me and (QB) Baker (Mayfield) are both hungry for that, and we are both going to try to do our best to make that happen.”

On if he feels moved to address the team and talk about the importance of this game: 

“I let everything come naturally. I will definitely talk to them and address them, but whenever that happens, whether it is tomorrow or in the huddle right before the game, the guys know the importance of it. We have to keep it fresh in our minds. I want it to be pressing on them that this is a big one leading into the playoffs. Every one from now on is win or go home so we have to treat it like that. We can’t be taking any time off or taking any plays off. Every play could be our last so make it a good one.”

On when he told Stefanski he wanted to be the captain for this week’s game: 

“It was like right after he addressed the team and told us who was going to be the captain for the Cowboys game. After he did that, I kind of walked up to him on the sideline and was like, ‘You know I am from Dallas, right? Just so you know, I would like to be the captain when I go down and play in front of my family.’ He was like, ‘I did not even think about it like that.’ I had told him right after.”

On being named captain on his birthday, along with the news that day that Rudolph would start:

“It did not cross my mind on my birthday. I was just having a good day with my parents and my friends. I think you all might have seen the cake that I received from someone special to me. I never thought about football on that day. I am pretty sure it was on Tuesday, and I try to keep my personal life to me on those days. Wednesday through Sunday, that is when I focus on football. When I heard about Mason being the quarterback, that did not change anything for me. It is just playing the Steelers. No matter who they put out there, we have to go out there and win.”

On how he keeps the pressure and magnitude of Sunday’s game from impact him and the team, referencing the phrase that ‘pressure bursts pipes’:

“We have had pressure on us before. We have had big games at home and away. If you have heard the phrase ‘pressure bust pipes,’ you have heard the phrase that pressure and add a little bit of heat creates diamonds. You have to choose which way you are going to go and what mindset you are going to have for the situation. If you go out there thinking that every play is your last and you go out there and put everything on the line, you have a good chance of making those big plays that are going to allow us to be sitting pretty at the end of the day – hopefully, with some diamonds on it.”

On expectations for the atmosphere of FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday with 12,000 fans in attendance:

“They are going to be amped. This is just like a playoff game for us, knowing that if we lose we go home, and if we win, we continue. This is just as important as any playoff game so that is how they are going to be treating and that is how we are going to be treating it. We do not care who we go against and we know that they are going to be resting some guys, but if we beat them, those guys are going to be right back up. We have some guys out and they have some guys out. We just have to come out on the right side this time and prepare for what they have for us next week.”

On if he is looking to dominate this week’s game, given the situation:

“I look to dominate any game I am in.”

On if this game has a special reason for him to dominate:

“It is a divisional game. That is really the only thing.”

On if he will be cautious about preventing penalties this week, particularly with Rudolph starting at QB:

“Get out of here with that (laughter). That will not run through my mind at all. He can get hit just like everybody else. I am not going to put a pillow underneath his head before I take him to the ground, but I am not going to do anything extra. It is just a game. It is a Steelers game. This is a divisional game. It is an important game, like I have said. Going against him, it changes nothing for me. Just like with any other player and any other quarterback, if he reaches out his hand for me to help him up, I am going to do it. If I see him and he is on the ground, it does not change my mindset at all with him back there. I do not think that my presence will do anything different for him. Just go out there and play like we always have.”

On if the first matchup of the Browns-Steelers in 2019 was as physical of a matchup as ever, prior to the incident at the end of the game:

“It was a fun game at the beginning. It was a physical game, but it was fun. There was not much talk. There was a lot of action. There was a lot of battling in the trenches, and that is what you want to see. You want that physicality. You want those big hits. Everybody was giving their all. That is how it should be in the division. It should be tough. It should not be pretty, especially in the AFC North. That is just how we play ball, and I expect nothing less on Sunday.”

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