Bruce Smith tells Myles Garrett he’s too slow off the ball

AP

If Myles Garrett ever shows up for a radio interview and sees Bruce Smith in the studio, Garrett apparently will follow through with the segment.

Garrett, who refused to appear on ESPN Radio with former NFL player Booger McFarland because McFarland had criticized Garrett, has no complaints about criticism he has received from Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith.

“[H]e said I was slow off the ball, but that is coming from the very best,” Garrett told reporters on Saturday. “He is just trying to teach me the tricks that I can get off the ball faster and do it even better. If I learn that and keep on practicing that, then I will perform at a high level.”

So how did Garrett when hearing something he may not have wanted to hear?

“I kind of laughed a little bit,” Garrett said. “Most people wouldn’t say that, but he is one of the greatest if not the greatest pass rusher so if he thinks so and I want to be at his level someday, then I have to take his advice and run with it.”

Garrett knows it won’t be an easy skill to master.

“It is not just athleticism, but it is also high school and college coaches sitting there every single day waiting for you to get-off on the ball,” Garrett said. “If you get-off early, you are getting punished so you have to make sure you time it right and go right when you see that stitch move. You are looking at the back tip and trying to get your first move on him so you can beat him for that first step and beat him to the midline.”

Now that Garrett has publicly flagged the issue himself, he has invited more scrutiny as to whether he can indeed improve his first move. And opposing offenses surely will be employing a variety of devices to get Garrett to jump before he should.

37 responses to “Bruce Smith tells Myles Garrett he’s too slow off the ball

  1. I like that he’s open to criticism. That helps with getting better. It also shows that he has the desire to get better. We’ll see how it goes

  2. The D-end that the Eagles drafted is not slow off the ball and had better production.

  3. Great reply. Kid is smart and should be a good pro. The only thing holding him back is the fact that he plays for the Browns. Where good players go to be obsolete. Honestly how can a franchise be so bad for so long. Eventually all these early first round picks are going to have to pan out.

  4. On some level he’s showing maturity but at the same time if he’s only concerned with what the best say then he’s got a long road ahead of him. Some of the best teachers are unhearalded guys who had to rely on technique rather than athleticism.

  5. I mean Vince Lombardi never had a real professional football career as a player I guess they should have never listened to him as a coach back in the day either….

    Joe Gibbs never played in the NFL either I think he knew a thing of two about coaching but we should have ignored him I guess and never given him a chance either??

    Just because McFarland didn’t have a hall of fame career doesn’t mean his opinions are devoid of merit. Just about all of the best coaches out there didn’t have amazing playing careers either. It doesn’t mean they don’t know the game.

  6. I think Garret is lying. He probably never heard of Bruce Smith, and when someone told Garret who he was, he thought to himself, “this guy is a washed up, old, has-been.”

  7. I met Bruce Smith in a casino in Vegas during his peak playing days. He was the fastest looking and most explosive human I had ever seen … and he was just standing still. Incredible physical specimen, intelligent, and a gentleman of the highest order.

  8. Bruce Smith not only is the All Time sack leader with 200, he also is the all time leader in tackles for a loss. Bruce listened to Coaches like Jim McNally, who helped to make him an all time great.
    McNally never played a down on the line.
    Listen up Mr. Garrett, you may learn something.

  9. I was like 9 when I nervously walked up to Bruce at a Red Lobster. He asked if I could come back when he and his wife were done eating…didn’t happen, felt like I was a bother.

    Instead he walked up and grabbed a chair and sat at my table for ten minutes talking to us. Not only was he arguably the best pass rusher ever but at the worst, top 3, but he was simply an awesome dude who had a smile bigger than he was. He might have been the only dude in the league who didn’t need training camp and literally was game
    Shape ready by the second series he was on the field. People just don’t realize awesome he really was

  10. Really? The guy hasn’t played a down yet. Why do we have to be so swift to either praise him or declare him a bust.

    He’s just another rookie.

  11. Would Bruce Smith be fast enough in today’s NFL? The offensive linemen have gotten quicker and more agile. We compare quarterbacks past and present but never do we place linemen or pass rushers in a current context. Perhaps he looks slow compared to a tackle in 1999, but the consensus was Garrett was the number one and so far two guys who haven’t played in a decade have been his only critics.

  12. Bruce Smith was a great player and a great guy, but he was not the best defensive lineman ever, Myles.
    Reggie White was the best defensive lineman of all time, and it’s not even debatable.

  13. campcouch says:
    May 13, 2017 6:18 PM
    Would Bruce Smith be fast enough in today’s NFL? The offensive linemen have gotten quicker and more agile. We compare quarterbacks past and present but never do we place linemen or pass rushers in a current context. Perhaps he looks slow compared to a tackle in 1999, but the consensus was Garrett was the number one and so far two guys who haven’t played in a decade have been his only critics.

    _———————
    Have you ever seen B. Smith play? The guy was a man amongst boys. And he played in a 3-4 scheme which hindered his greatness. If he played in a 4-3 his numbers would have been ALL WORLD! Most consider him 3rd all time behind LT and Reggie but in if he played in a 4-3 there would not even be a discussion. I saw Bruce dominate Anthony Munoz who was on the downside and saw Boselli dominate Bruce on his downside. Circle of life man.

  14. Having watched both Reggie and Bruce play, they are more equals than either one being better than the other. Reggie played a very different role than what Bruce did. However, they dominated nearly every snap they played. Favorite Bruce Smith moment is his appearance in Little Giants. Got to get your self some intimidation!

  15. LT was a linebacker. Wrong to compare him to Smith or White. All three were among the best to ever play the game, each in their own way.

  16. Should he bow down to Bruce Smith, take his every word to heart, and listen to every word players say in criticism or praise…no. He needs to work harder, not take a lot of plays off, and try to be the best he possibly can be. There is no way he could ever be at Smith’s level.
    When it comes to great HoF defensive line players there are those few that are not only great, but someone like Smith was one of those Scary great players. It’s just my opinion, but Smith falls in to that Larence Taylor and Reggie White group of players that not only were they great, they intimidate the oposing offense. If you were a QB and seen one of those monsters coming at you off the edge you would wet yourself because you know It’s going to hurt…bad. If you didn’t see who hit you, you knew, you wouldn’t even need to ask your teammates or coaches who hit you.
    I’m skeptical on Garrett, but he has the god given talent/athleticism to be great. The rest is on him play hard and show the doubters.

  17. bocadiver1 says:
    May 13, 2017 7:51 PM

    LT was a linebacker. Wrong to compare him to Smith or White. All three were among the best to ever play the game, each in their own way.
    ———————————————————
    From a position comparison I agree, but I was just referencing from a defensive stand point. LT to me at least was the greatest LB of all time.

  18. Garret should listen to all the criticism and improve his play. Smith was a great HOF pass rusher and can teach him a few things.

    Booger, who was a solid player, has 2 SB rings so he shouldn’t be dismissed either. I get that he doesn’t come off well on TV sometimes but he did play the game at a high level.

  19. The Gray Ghost says:
    May 13, 2017 8:56 PM
    Smith was an overrated four-time loser
    ——————–
    LOL, you should follow golf. Leave football to the knowledgeable who follow and appreciate the sport.

  20. Getting to a Super Bowl 4 times in a row won’t happen again, they will eventually be cherished and recognized as a greatest of all-time conference teams. No one team has ever championed a NFL conference 4 times in a row.

  21. Getting to a Super Bowl 4 times in a row won’t happen again, they will eventually be cherished and recognized as a greatest of all-time conference teams. No one team has ever championed a NFL conference 4 times in a row.
    _______________________________
    They will always be remembered as SB Chokers.

  22. RandyinRoxbury says:
    May 13, 2017 10:25 PM
    Big Brucie sure disappeared on the biggest stage, didn’t he?
    _____________________

    No, he didn’t. I distinctly remember his safety in SB XXV costing me $100. Bruce Smith was the real deal, fish fans… smh

    A Giants Fan

  23. So now all of the sudden, advice from a HOFer is misconstrued into an ”issue”? Garrette hasn’t even played one down in t he NFL, and we’re already speculating that he’s slow off the ball. Let’s at least wait until week 1 to see what the kid has.

  24. campcouch says:
    May 13, 2017 6:18 PM
    Would Bruce Smith be fast enough in today’s NFL? The offensive linemen have gotten quicker and more agile. We compare quarterbacks past and present but never do we place linemen or pass rushers in a current context.

    ==============

    Today’s players are a little bigger and faster not because of some weird genetic change in 20 years but because of nutrition and weight training but there’s not THAT much of a difference. You’re also assuming you’d stick 1990s Smith in 2017 and expecting him to fail. He’d also have access to the same nutritional supplements and training and would be faster and stronger

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