When the Cleveland Browns were getting ready for the 2023 season, there was a lot of talk about just how good Myles Garrett could be under Jim Schwartz.
Garrett had 16 sacks in each of the past two seasons under Joe Woods, and that number is a franchise record for the most in one year. Even with that being the case, there was a belief that he wasn't always being put in the best position to succeed.
Schwartz, who came over with a proven track record of success, has often been able to get the most out of his players — especially when it comes to pass rushing. That led to the belief that Garrett could be even more dominant and after eight games, that's been the case.
The former No. 1 overall pick already has 9.5 sacks this season as well as four forced fumbles. He also had one of the more athletic blocked field goals we've ever seen. As impressive as all that is, Garrett still thinks he's just nearing his prime and sees even better days ahead.
“I think I’m nearing my prime, the peak of my powers,” Garrett said on The Pat McAfee Show. “I think it’s just matching that experience and that wisdom as well as my athletic ability. Both of those being combined, I think that’s really taken my game to another level.”
What was even more impressive was the way he followed this up by praising his teammates as well as Schwartz. In the past, this wasn't always the case with Garrett. He had previously thrown coaches under the bus and it was hard to pretend as though he thought Woods was calling a good defense.
Schwartz, however, has complete buy-in from the best player on the team. That's been huge for this defense as they've taken a massive step forward.
And if Garrett is correct in his assessment, he could wind up landing the coveted NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.