Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has racked up five sacks in two weeks, but has also been piling up the penalties. Some of Garrett's hits have led to the accusation that he is a "dirty player."
On Monday night, Garrett was flagged twice for roughing the passer in a 23-3 win over the New York Jets. The second penalty came after he hit Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian up high and landed on him, tearing ligaments in Siemian's ankle in the process.
Garrett picked up an unnecessary roughness penalty against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. Is this enough evidence to support the claims he's less than clean on the field?
Garrett doesn't think so.
“I know who I am and the guys within these walls know who I am and that’s not me,’’ he told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I’m not going to do anything to try and hurt this team or take out any player outside the rule book. I’m just going to keep playing this game the way it’s supposed to be played and that’s violently but passionately.”
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“You don’t want to put anybody out for the season,’’ said Garrett. “It’s their job and it’s something that you don’t do unless you love it, and you don’t want to take that away from anybody. I hope he comes back faster and stronger than he ever has and I wish the best for him.”
It will be interesting to watch if the NFL has its eye on Garrett moving forward. Because he's so talented, he will get to the quarterback more than most players, leaving him more possibilities to potentially draw flags.
The third-year pro might have to adjust his technique a little to avoid being an easy target for officials.