More than three months after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2017 NFL draft, Cleveland Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett is looking forward to making his presence known during Thursday's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Speaking to reporters (via Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan) after Tuesday's practice, Garrett said he wants to show the Saints he belongs at this level:
"You've spent most of your life looking up to those guys and watching them play, watching them make big plays, not only in the regular season but in the playoffs and Super Bowls," Garrett said. "But now, idolizing them is over. It's time to show that you're in their class and you can play with the big boys."
Despite being the face of Cleveland's defense as the first overall pick, Garrett had to earn his way onto the first team through training camp.
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He made the climb in a hurry, with head coach Hue Jackson announcing the former Texas A&M star was being promoted prior to a practice Aug 2. and proceeded to earn high marks for his efforts.
"I saw a blur go around me—I didn't know who was over there," Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. "I'm not surprised by anything he does; he just has to do it every day. Gotta do it every day and keep getting better.''
Garrett arrived in Cleveland with a lot of promise as a two-time first-team All-SEC and All-American during his days at Texas A&M. He will now face the pressure of helping lead the turnaround for a Browns franchise that has won four games over the past two seasons and hasn't finished over .500 since 2007.