Myles Garrett is back, and the Jets will have to deal with it

Saturday, 07 October 2017, 01:08:51 AM. Call it an unhappy coincidence. The Jets will arrive in Cleveland just in time to see the Browns unveil their new weapon on defense. After missing the season’s first four weeks with a high ankle sp…

Call it an unhappy coincidence.

The Jets will arrive in Cleveland just in time to see the Browns unveil their new weapon on defense. After missing the season’s first four weeks with a high ankle sprain, defensive end Myles Garrett will be making his NFL debut. The overall No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft is a fearsome pass rusher who piled up 32.5 sacks in 36 games at Texas A&M.

“He’s a force and we’re going to have to make sure we take care of him, not let him ruin the game,” Jets offensive coordinator John Morton said.

“Him coming back is a great boost for them,” Todd Bowles said. “We just have to play our game and slow him down.”

Cleveland defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who held the same post for the Saints when they won Super Bowl XLIV and was suspended for the 2012 season for his role in BountyGate, is known for aggressive defenses that pressure quarterbacks with an assortment of blitzes.

“They are throwing the kitchen sink at you in all honesty,” said Kelvin Beachum, the tackle most likely to line up opposite Garrett. “They do a lot of blitzing. They use a lot of guys coming from all different directions. You get a lot of looks from all over the field. It’s hard to focus on one guy.

“I just have to believe if I do the things that I do well, I will be successful.”

The Browns have totaled nine sacks — without Garrett — and the Jets have given up a dozen, sixth most in the NFL. So it’s a potentially volatile situation that bears watching. Also, Garrett will be on what Cleveland coach Hue Jackson termed “a pitch count” as the Browns ease him back in from the injury.

The 6-foot-5, 272-pound Garrett has been practicing for about 10 days.

Perhaps the biggest problem the Jets face in game-planning for Garrett is that there isn’t a lot of film. He played part of the Browns preseason schedule before a foot sprain and there is nothing to view since. Morton said he has resorted to looking at video of Garrett’s college games.

“We know he’s the No. 1 overall pick and a top defensive end and while that isn’t as much a problem, his advantage is we don’t have much film on him. He’s a bit of an unknown,” tackle Ben Ijalana said. “We’ve watched what he’s put on film and now just have to be ready.”

“We’ve watched what preseason tape we have and have tried to zero in on some of his tips and tendencies, but that’s what there is,” tackle Brandon Shell said. “He’s a good player — I played him in college. He’s a good athlete, very long and he disrupts the passer.”

Garrett was twice selected first-team All-American at Texas A&M. After declaring for the draft after his junior season, he was tabbed as the consensus top prospect. The Browns signed him to a fully guaranteed four-year contract for about $30 million with a fifth-year team option.

“There’s a reason he was the first overall draft pick,” Browns linebacker Joe Schobert told reporters in Cleveland. “He’s very explosive off the edge. He can get after the quarterback by himself, so that will be huge. He’ll make the quarterback speed up his decisions and make quicker passes or make more errant throws if he can get there and cause pressure.”

It’s why Morton said protecting quarterback Josh McCown has been “the biggest thing we’ve been working at this week.”

McCown appears fully aware of what Garrett’s debut means for him and the offensive line, but doesn’t believe it will have the impact many expect.

“The O-line will be ready to go,” he said. “It’s all inclusive with how we structure the pass game and everything, because when you have a guy that can hold the edge down like he does and rush the passer, you have to get the ball out of your hands. You have to make sure you have different people on him to slow him down, so we’ll have a good plan for him and I look forward to watching our guys get after him blocking.”

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