DE Myles Garrett (12.28.23)

In your owns words, just how that felt, to share that with the fans at the end and to enjoy that just celebration?

“It felt good. Felt good. Got a lot on my mind. Been dealing with some things that really haven’t been able to sit down and contemplate or like almost even accept. But just trying to be in the moment, just trying to take in this blessing that it is to be in the playoffs. This is a great team, great group of guys and filled with men with passion and ambition.”


Is it football stuff on your mind?

“No. Lost a loved one. Lost him on Christmas night. I heard the next day and I just haven’t really known how to deal with it. I just talked to my sibling, my mother, making sure that she was okay, it was her brother. And just dealing with how it’s been affecting me physically and emotionally. I’m not one to really wear it on my face too often, but it’s taking its toll in different ways and just keeping my head to the sky and trying to stay focused. I know that’s what he want me to do and that’s what my mother want me to do.”


How much does having the team around you being able to sometimes go into the locker room and has it helped you to kind of, as you’re trying to deal with all of those emotions? 

“It’s always nice to have a group of guys that surround each other, especially when something’s going on with one of the individuals, because we’re all in this together. We preach being family and the brotherhood and they showed it throughout. We’ve had different guys with things that have been going on in their lives and their families and they treated me no differently. Just putting arms around me and making sure I’m okay.”


You’re such a close-knit family. I’m sure this is somebody that had a profound impact on your childhood, your growing up years, and even your career. 

“I mean, he was there at Thanksgiving sitting on the couch, having fun, laughing, being his regular self. Had a procedure, heard everything went well. And just day after Christmas, to get a call from my brother and I couldn’t believe it. And still hard to believe. I was speechless then. I really just don’t know how to put it into words now. It’s just like left me with. I’ve had headaches just daily just because I don’t know how to handle it emotionally. So it just comes out in different ways, like just pains. I feel like sometimes in a fog.”


Did you feel that way during the game? 

“I just felt a little bit of lack of focus, like I was in a fog. Just trying to make sure that I was focused on the task at hand, but it was just difficult. And I’m not going to make excuses for anything that I did or not playing up to my standard or our standard, but just got to overcome. That’s what this year has been about, overcoming adversity and resilience, and everyone’s facing it in their own way. And now I’ve got to be able to do it on my own, just as well as many others have.”


How do you allow yourself to celebrate this team accomplishment while you’re going through this?

“I mean, I got some family here that was able to make it. Got friends here who have come knowing that not only it is a big game, but they want to put their arms around me and make sure I’m okay and want me to know that they have my back. And I think that’s the most important thing is that I know that they’re here for me. I’m one to kind of like bunker in, shelter up. Like, I’ll deal with this in my own. Let me just get out of it. It’s like being kind of in the funk. Just let me handle on my own. But I know that’s not healthy, and they know me well enough to see those tendencies and try to help me anyway. And I think that’s big to have friends that know what you need.”

You talked before about your own personal growth and being more open to reaching out and knowing for help, whether it’s football, whether it’s whatever. How much is that own personal growth? Are you kind of leaning on that also? 

“Maturing is knowing not only that you need help, but when to ask for it. And I’m not prideful enough to say I don’t need help or I don’t need someone to lean on at times, my family that I’ve leaned on. But some people around here have also reached out a helping hand, you know someone to be a rock or just a listening ear, because I’m not one to spill out, emotionally. I’ll keep it inside, just like my dad will. We’re ones to just kind of just soak it all in and not let everything show, and it’s got to come out in some form or fashion. And I got friends to help me kind of expel those things.”


So how much of a bittersweet moment? Were you able to enjoy and embrace some of the celebration with the fans afterwards? Or did you have a heavy heart throughout that whole part of it? 

“Sometimes you got to put on a little bit of a mask, and even though you don’t want to, I’m happy for my teammates, and that’s honest and true and that’ll always be how I feel because this team, it’s unlike any other. I’m always proud to be around and be a part of a special organization. But I know that feeling how I feel doesn’t feel right without CJ (Chris Johnson), hearing him. I know even though he’s watching, it’s just a little bit different. It’s not the same.”


Did you have conversations with Kevin (Stefanski) or any of your coaches that you’re close with? Just as you process.

“A little bit. They wanted to give my space, but I talked to Kevin a little bit and Jim (Schwartz) offered to sit down, but it’s not the right time. Just want to try to kind of push to the side for a little bit, so giving me space to focus on the game. And mother was saying the same thing. She’s pushing through and she’s taking it as well as she can. She’s getting everything in order and I knew I had to kind of do the same thing. I have a job to do and in a way she does and she does well. So I’m just trying to be as strong as she is in this situation.”


You say you want to typically bunker down and keep it to yourself. Why share this here with us? 

“I think getting off my chest is kind of like the best medicine. I also didn’t want my teammates, if they saw me walking off the field, to feel like I wasn’t proud or happy of what we accomplished and achieved tonight. And it’s not indicative of how I truly feel, because I love this moment and how far we’ve come and how far we plan to go. But I just feel like this was more of a message to them than to you all, that I’m so proud of this team and so appreciative of all the brothers that I have and I couldn’t do it without them. Just continue to have my back and I’ll have theirs. When push comes to shove, I’ll have it just as much or even more.”


Was there a moment when you thought you wouldn’t want to play today?

“I kind of left it up to my mother and if she needed me, I’d have been gone in a second. And football is great. I love this team, I love the Browns, but I only got one mom. I’m hopefully going to have many more games, many more years, but there was only one CJ, and there’s only one mom. If she needed me, I’m always going to be there for her, just like she is for me.”



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