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.