BEREA -- Cam Johnson and Tyrone Holmes got more time with the starters at right defensive end than Myles Garrett did Tuesday during the first practice of minicamp.
Garrett, the No. 1 pick in the draft in April, isn’t offended by working with the third-team defense. Or running behind a seventh-round pick with three career sacks (Johnson) and a sixth-rounder with one (Holmes).
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Garrett said. “I’ve got to prove myself. I haven’t shown any kind of resume for what I can do on the NFL level, so they have to see out there. Go from level to level, from spot to spot and show that I can be successful.”
Garrett was with the third team during organized team activities. He worked mostly with the second team Tuesday and got one series with the first team in a specific package.
Coach Hue Jackson said it’s premature to say Garrett’s climbing his way up the depth chart.
“Not yet. As long as I’m the head coach here, then we’re going to earn the right to play for this football team,” he said. “Nothing’s given. You’ve got to go do your job and do it to the best of your ability.”
New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is on board. One of his principles is playing time won’t be determined by where a guy was drafted or how much money he makes.
Could starting Garrett at the bottom make him hungrier to show he was worth the top pick?
“They don’t have to worry about my hunger,” he said. “But, yes, it does. Because at the end of the day, I want to be starting. But it takes time and I’m going to put in the work.”
Garrett said he feels “great” and will be full go for the three-day minicamp that wraps up the offseason program. He practiced every other day during organized team activities as he dealt with an injury -- Garrett wouldn’t disclose the injury; Cleveland.com reported it was a sore foot -- and was limited when he did participate.
“I don’t like sitting on this side,” he said. “I want to be out there grinding just like they are.”
The depth chart is expected to change before Week 1 against Pittsburgh. And possibly when training camp starts in late July. The Browns didn’t take him No. 1 and sign him to a four-year, $30.4 million contract, including a $20 million signing bonus, to keep him on the sideline.
And Jackson has loved what he’s seen when Garrett’s taken the field.
“He’s a very eager and willing young man. He has worked extremely hard,” Jackson said last week. “Hopefully you guys saw the talent today, and we’ll keep pushing him and getting him to where he needs to be.”
The kind words were relayed to Garrett.
“He doesn’t talk to me like that,” he said. “He tells me to keep on working, that’s what I want to hear. It’s nice that he sings praises for me through the media, but I’m never satisfied and he knows that, so he’s going to keep on pushing me to be better and better each day.”
Garrett seems to have the right mindset to play for Williams, whose chatter on the practice field is a near-constant scream filled with expletives. He doesn’t lighten up in the post-practice film sessions.
“If I have five sacks, he’s like, ‘why didn’t you have seven?’” Garrett said. “That’s the mentality you got to have. You can’t be satisfied with what you did today. You’ve got to be better the next day.”
The speed of the NFL game was what Garrett expected. The length of the workday was a surprise.
“You come in at 6 and leave at like 6 or 7 and you’ve got to be fully in tune to what you’re doing, you’ve got to make sure you know what you’re doing every time you come out here,” he said. “It’s a job application, you’re putting your resume on the line and showing what you want to put out there on film every single day. So you have to make sure you put out something good.”
Garrett attended a Cavs playoff game -- he said he enjoyed meeting a couple of celebrities -- and likes life in Cleveland.
“It’s a sports town. It’s just like College Station, really,” he said, referring to the location of Texas A&M, his alma mater. “Everybody embraces sports figures and each other, really. It’s just a big, old family and I’m just enjoying it.”
Garrett was already looking ahead to entering the draft when the Browns selected ends Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib in the second and third rounds in 2016. He thought that might eliminate him from consideration in 2017.
He’s glad it didn’t.
“I was just thinking that maybe that they weren’t going to want to take another chance on another end,” Garrett said. “But they did and hope to prove that they made the right decision.”
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