DE Myles Garrett (1.11.24)

Myles, what’s your impressions of C.J. (Stroud)? What kind of challenge does he pose? Obviously going to be different this time around playing them. 

“I think he’s very impressive, especially for a rookie to have composure like him and being as prepped as he is, going into games and making the right decisions. He’s obviously going to be a little bit more mobile than our guy Case (Keenum), but he can pose his own unique challenges and he’s got to be on Ps and Qs.”


How does the hamstring feel and how does everything feel as you’re heading into this playoff game?

“Feel good, feel ready. And that was what last week was about. If I had my say, I’d be playing. I always want to play if we have a game up, but it’s about what does the team the most good. And I’m all for that and especially good seeing those young guys get out there, get some experience seeing the flow of the game and getting adjusted to the weather as well. They spent a lot of time helping their teammates but now getting a feel for themselves. But like everyone’s peeking at the right time, they’re ready to have a really good game on Saturday.”


How different is this feeling compared to 2020 in terms of getting ready for a playoff? 

“Well, there were less fans, there were less people. Guys couldn’t really get a good feel for what it meant to be in a playoffs. Kind of that atmosphere, that excitement not only in the locker room but in the city going into the game, air is a little different. Same game, nothing’s changed. But you feel a little electricity in the air before kickoff and I think everyone’s using that to our benefit. Knowing that we’re here through all the adversity. Why not make a little uproar happen while we’re here and we’re trying to keep this thing going.”


Duron (Harmon) mentioned he thought the speed, the difference between playoffs and regular season, the speed of the game just gets even faster. Is that something you agree with? 

“Well, I feel like guys, they understand the moment, they understand that 60, 75 plays, that’s it. That could be your season or you could be progressing to the next stage and they’re going, I know you’re always supposed to play like your last one. Like it literally could be, especially in the playoffs. It’s not guaranteed people make it back and guys, especially veterans, start to understand the moment and really press the gas. And that’s what I mean we’re peeking at the right moment. Guys really understand we need to press the gas and make sure that everyone’s ready and we’re all pointing the same direction when it comes out to Saturday.”


You guys have been through so much this year, I guess. How disappointing to see Denzel (Ward) get hurt at practice today. And how hopeful are you that he’ll be available Saturday?

“I mean, I didn’t see it but it’s definitely disappointing. He’s a guy who came in pretty much with me. He’s a playmaker, a few guys in the league can contend with, he’s been doing it at a very high rate this year. We’re looking forward to getting him back whenever he’s able to come back and be himself. Just unfortunately something like happens at practice while trying to prepare for a big one like this Saturday.”


What impresses you most about CJ Stroud?

“What impresses me the most – his composure for his age on his first year, being able to make his progressions and get it out on time. A lot of quarterbacks when it’s their first year, they stick to one they have to get it out and can’t really leave the field.  I think he’s done a great job of being able to slow a game down to this point, but we have to be able to speed it up for him and make him see how he feels when we’re flying.”


How good is this defense? I mean you guys finishing number one. As you head into the playoffs how good is this defense.”

“Best defense in the league. We got to go out and show it. We got to go put our stamp on that and make sure that we’re the same defense whether we’re home or away, continue to be ourselves.”


When you face Laremy (Tunsil) the first time, did they leave him one-on-one with you at all?

“At all? Not too often, but it was there.”


When you see that, when you see t he one one matchup, whether it’s him or somebody else, do you think this is a run play or it’s going to be so fast that I don’t have a chance to get there anyway?

“Yes. I always try to come off the same way, same get off, anticipation, everything. But in the back of my head, I’m thinking it’s not really going to be a one-on-one. So, something’s probably up here, whether it’s screen getting out and three step drop quick or it’s got to be like you said.”


When did that change for you? Because I’m sure growing up in college, you one on one, I’m going too get the quarterback. When did it switch? Like one one means I probably have no chance?

“It’s been years now and just got to try to use that to help my play recognition, try to help out my guys. If I see anything different in his stance when it’s just him and I or he’s leaning a certain way or whatever it is, try to use those cues to get a jump on whatever play is coming.”


Myles, what were some of your takeaways from the inspirational meetings you guys had the other night with everybody talking about their Super Bowl experience? How was that for you? 

“It was very inspirational. I think a lot of guys were inspired, but also motivated to continue to work as hard as they can and understand. Like I said, understand the moment and appreciate it for what it is. This isn’t something that you can take for granted no matter how many years you’ve been in the league. This team is unlike any other that we’ve all been on. So, I appreciate the guys you’re here with. And like (Jim) Schwartz said, we didn’t come this far to come this far.”


Myles from that meeting a lot of guys just talked about that 1-0 mentality, going 1-0. You guys kind of been doing that. Is it almost easy to business as usual almost transition into the playoff mode? Knowing that’s kind of been your mindset already.

“Wouldn’t say it’s easy, but we stay consistent. We said we’ve always had that mindset and that comes from our leaders and our coaches having that calm, centered demeanor. Not getting too high, getting too low. Just one and oh each week, do what you need to make sure that we get the win. And that’s putting in the time with your brothers, putting in maximum effort when you’re on the field and letting it loose when you get the opportunity.”


How much does this mean to you this season? I mean, we’ve all watched you grow from the time you were a rookie to now, and you really set aside your individual goals. It’s all about the team for you. It seems like there’s something special going on with this football. How much would this mean to you to accomplish the goals, the team goals that you hoped?

“A whole lot. We always have high aspirations from the time we start playing this game to the time we get to the big leagues, and it’s closer than it has been in previous years. But right now, we’ve still got four games to go. And right now, we have to focus on what’s ahead. And that’s Texas. We got to take care of business.”


A lot of guys. This team feels special.  Why do you think that is? What makes this different than others? 

“It’s the closest-knit group I’ve ever been a part of. And the guys I’ve talked to come from other teams, they also feel the same way, and that doesn’t happen very often. You’ve had good teams or even great teams that didn’t like each other, but worked well together. But when you have a team that really fights for the brother because they love them and they want to do the best for them. That’s something that helps make teams that last for a very long time, good teams that last for a very long time. And we’re on step one, but we got to continue to keep progressing.”


You guys made the playoffs in 2020 and then you went two years without it. Does that increase the sense of urgency or increase the sense of awareness that these things can be rare, these moments can be rare?

“Increases my appreciation for moments like this and how to approach them, how to attack them, because I can’t take it for granted because it’s not promised, I’m going to make the most out of it and continue to make my guys understand that this is something that you want to appreciate and give your all to right now because you’ll never know what happens, whether in your personal life, on the field, off the field. It’s not promised.”


That closeness that you’re talking about and that feeling. What do you attribute that to? How did it…

I mean, AB (Andrew Berry) putting a lot of great characters from other teams on this team, guys that not only are playmakers but want to build, who want to make a brotherhood but also want to be a great team as well. And the leaders on this team helping to keep the status quo. No one band, one sound, and no one’s bigger than the team. And we’re all in this together and we’re only as strong as the weakest link.”


Yesterday, Jim (Schwartz) talked about similarities between the 2017 Eagles team and you guys. One of the things he mentioned was guys like Rodney (McLeod), Grant (Delpit) Mo (Hurst) sort of sticking around and being part of the team even though they were on the IR. Just how did those guys still try to be part of this team, contribute while it was happening? How much did you guys appreciate that?

“First, if I hear another story about this 2017 Eagles, I’m going to lose it [joking]. But the leaders that you mentioned, whether they’ve had a lot of time on the field or a little time on the field, those guys have been playing pivotal roles in our success. How this team has navigated these waters. And they continue to be a part of this team and they don’t have to continue to inspire and be leaders from the sidelines, in the meeting rooms and around the locker room. And that’ll continue to pay dividends along this playoff run.”


Can you believe it’s been nine years between playoff starts for Joe (Flacco)? And what kind of confidence does it give you that you have a guy who’s won seven times on the road?

“For a guy like that it’s nothing new. He’s won at home, he’s won away, just hoping he doesn’t expire before we get to the Super Bowl [joking].”


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