DE Myles Garrett (12.31.21)

On Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s career and legacy:

“As far as quarterbacks, he is one of the greats. He is one of the best Steelers quarterbacks that they have ever had, and he might be the best. Just going back and forth with him has been fun over the years. I say over the years because now it is my fifth and he has been in the league for almost two decades. It has been a back and forth. Me trying to get after him. Me being out a little bit. Him being out a little bit. Always having good interactions and good gamesmanship when we are out there. I am trying to do my thing and shut down the game on my side of the ball, and him trying to get the ball off and get it off quick so I can’t do that. I like the challenge of it going against a guy of his caliber and a guy of his prestige. I will just try to keep it cordial and send him off with a bang.”


On if he has exchanged compliments with Roethlisberger during games:

“Sometimes when I hit him or get a sack, he will be like, ‘Damn, good hit.’ If I am right there on a tackle, QB hit, about to hit him or about to slap the ball out, I see the throw, and I am like, ‘Damn, good throw.’ Stuff like that. Nothing long-winded.”


On if he will miss playing against Roethlisberger:

“Miss him? It is kind of like when I was growing up, I barely remember the retirement of Michael Jordan because I was very young, but just seeing players at the end of their careers slowly retired and not fading into obscurity but they leave their mark on the game, and they go do other things. I will miss his presence in the game, but as far as going against him and the rivalry against him versus us, no, I will not miss that. I will be looking forward to new things, new challenges, new quarterbacks and new people to put in the front yard (laughter).”


On the mood of the team this week with the potential playoff implications of the next two games:

“Guys are just ready to control what they can control. We know we need some help to get where we want to get, but it starts first by winning. We have to go into a hostile environment and play the best we can. We have to put our best foot forward and go ball out. Right now, nothing matters if we go in there and take an L. We have to knock them out of the playoffs, and we have to hope we have a way to get in ourselves. We do not have to worry about that result. We have to worry about ours.”


On if his groin injury is feeling a lot better, given he returned to practice this week:

“A lot better? No, but I wanted to get some work in with my teammates and get that feel again. Coming off the ball, playing the run and all of those small things. I am making sure I am getting off the ball at the proper time and looking at some of the keys and some stuff that going up to the game is kind of small, but those things build up.”


On if his groin feels about the same as it did last week against the Packers or if it has improved:

“I am probably about the same as Saturday. I still feel it.”


On DE Jadeveon Clowney returning to the team this week after being on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Clowney as a teammate this year:

“As far as practicing, working hard, listening and doing what he needs to do, he has been a great teammate. He gets out there and does what he needs to do on the practice field, and he brings it to gameday. I am proud of who he has been and how this D line has played. We are just trying to keep that on for the next two games and hopefully a couple more.”


On how his groin injury affected him most last week against the Packers:

“I feel it every time I torque or try to come out of my stance. When I am picking my legs up out of my stance, that explosive movement hurts, but like any kind of explosive movement where it is going left, right or forward, I do feel it.”


On the importance of finishing his season strong:

“I have to. It is kind of on us and it is kind of on me to step up and make some plays that will put us in the win column because we have to win. We have been saying that for a while and for the last five games. We have to win. We have not been doing that. I feel like I need to call upon myself to be the person I need to be and need me to be.”


On how badly he wants to record at least one more sack of Roethlisberger:

“I wanted a sack against (Packers QB Aaron) Rodgers last week just because of who he is and what he means to the game. Even if I was beating my tackle cleanly or however I was – inside, outside or power rush – it seemed like he was getting the ball off quick. At the end of the day, just have to try to be disruptive. Sometimes it is just not in the cards. The quarterback is not going to take that chance of holding the ball and extend the play. Sometimes coverage will hold up a little bit longer, and sometimes he will just check it down and hope for the best.”


On how the Browns are handling what is at stake with Monday night’s game:

“I do not think they are too worried. When I talk to them and I speak to them, everyone around here is just focused on the next one. This one is big and so is next week, but we can’t worry about the consequences of anyone else winning or what needs to happen. What needs to happen is we have to go onto their field and get a W.”


On if he looks forward to opportunities like this week to shine on the biggest stage of Monday Night Football and primetime games:

“You have to. As a competitor and as a sportsman, you want to be able to say you showed up on the biggest stage and played your best games. They have to prepare like that. You have to work like that during the week. You have to make sure that all of the things that you need to have in order before you even get to the field are ready for you to have a great game like that. I think we are preparing like we need to.”


On if the Browns defense is playing to the level he believed it ultimately could:

“Yeah, we are living up to that hype right now, but we have to keep it going. The first year for a defense like this and a lot of guys coming from different places, young guys and of all that, we had a couple of bad games, but we have had some great games. Now, it is just trying to find where we lie and what our strengths and weaknesses are. I think we are figuring that out. It has really helped us down the stretch, keeping opponents to lower scores than we were at the beginning of the season and not having too many explosive games by the offenses. Now, we just have to start scoring on defense.”


On what words of motivation he will share with the team before the Browns-Steelers matchup:

“I do not plan that. It comes to me as I warm up throughout the day so I can’t really give you an answer.”


On his role in maintaining positivity on the Browns team and defense, especially when the Browns offense is not playing as well as it would like:

“As a defense, like you said, we are playing well. Our job is to go out there and ball. We are not cheerleaders for the offense. I am not going to go over there and give a pep talk to any of those guys whenever they need it, but if I see them with their head down, I will tell them to pick their head up, come on, just keep on working, keep on going out there, next drive, turn the page and stuff like that. My job is focused on performing on the field and having all of my guys on defense all on the same page. On offense, they have their own guys. They have (QB) Baker (Mayfield), they have (WR) Jarvis (Landry) and they have (RB) Nick (Chubb). When I see them and I am able to go by them if I am going across the field, of course, I will say something to them, but we can’t be worried about them, what they are doing or them finding their stride sometime in game or before this game. We hope they do, but at the end of the day, we just have to keep on playing ours.”


On defensive coordinator Joe Woods’ role and how the entire Browns defense and DL have come together with strong performances in recent weeks:

“Get the calls in quick and get the hell out of the way. We have some ballers. We have some guys who can make a lot of plays, whether it is upfront or on the back end. He is giving us what we need to prepare us. Preparing us well, and letting us flourish. We are out there and make plays. Sometimes it is not going to be like he drew up, and you just have to let those guys win those one-on-one battles.”


On if he will give Clowney a sales pitch to return to the Browns next season:

“You know I have tried, but you never know. Guys have their own agendas and want to be in certain places. I can’t help it if a guy wants to be in Miami, he likes the weather there more or he likes to be by the water (laughter). At the end of the day, I want this team to stay together, and I want the defense to stay together. I think we have a good future ahead of us. I am going to do my best when I speak to them about it after the season, but right now, the season is not over so I am not making any pitches quite yet.”


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