Myles Garrett was a one-man wrecking crew in college, and the Cleveland Browns hope that translates to the NFL, sooner rather than later. One man who wants to help Garrett achieve greatness is none other than Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith.
“He’s got all of the physical talents, the God-given talents,” Smith told the Beacon Journal on Tuesday night during a phone interview. “He just needs to learn how to be a pro now. There’s a difference between being a college player and being a pro in the NFL. That’s the process that he has to undergo. We all had to go through it.
“He’s going to be successful. It’s just the level of success that he reaches could be contingent upon the decisions that are made for him at an early stage of his career. The advice, the coaching, the tutelage that he gets right now could determine whether he’s an impact player in his first or second year or his fourth or fifth year.”
Smith would love to mentor Garrett, and there isn’t a finer teacher the No. 1 overall pick could ask for. The two already have a budding relationship, which began in earnest when Smith showed up to Garrett’s home in Texas to watch college game tape just hours after he was drafted by the Browns.
During that film session, Smith noticed that Garrett wasn’t consistently getting off the ball quick enough.
“Most people wouldn’t say that, but he’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest, pass rushers,” Garrett, 21, said during rookie minicamp. “So if he thinks so, and I want to be at this level someday, then I’ve got to take his advice and run with it.
“He played leagues above what I am right now. If I want to get there, then I’ve got to soak in all that information and all of that greatness.”
Garrett’s introduction into the NFL hasn’t gone as smoothly as he and the team hoped it would. He’s battled a foot injury that had him in a walking boot during minicamp, but thankfully for Browns fans he’s expected to be fully healthy for training camp.
In the meantime, Garrett could do a lot worse than spending as much time as possible with Smith.