Few red flags have been flying regarding former Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett. A new one has suddenly emerged in an unlikely spot.
Garrett declined on Monday to appear as an in-studio guest on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show, once he realized that former NFL defensive lineman Booger McFarland was in the studio.
Later in the day, Garrett appeared on ESPN Radio with Ryan Russillo and Danny Kannel, explaining that Garrett chose not to appear with McFarland because he has shown “negativity” and “bias” toward certain teams and players. So what has McFarland said about Garrett?
“I follow Texas A&M very closely, having worked with the SEC Network,” McFarland said after Garrett decided not to appear on the show, via Ryan Glasspiegel of TheBigLead.com. “Over the last couple years, I’ve followed Myles Garrett. I’ve talked about their team, and their lack of toughness, their lack of physicality. It’s one of the things that I’ve always looked at in Myles Garrett. Everyone looks at the numbers he put up at the Combine. They’re outstanding numbers, and the athletic ability says he’s going to be a Hall of Fame-type player.
“I haven’t always seen the athleticism turn into playmaking ability on the football field, nor have I seen the physicality. To me, that’s the one question I have. So, in a day and age where we’re all watching the Combine saying, ‘Hey there he is, he’s the No. 1 pick, best player ever,’ I’m just a little hesitant. And I always take a step back, because I’ve seen the guy play football.
“He is a tremendous athlete, but being an athlete doesn’t make you a football player. Ask Mike Mamula, who tore up the Combine but couldn’t break an egg in the NFL. I’m not saying Myles Garrett is gonna do that, but I just look at the tape . . . and the tape has said that although he is a tremendous athlete, I just wonder how much does he love playing defensive line and being hit and the collisions that take place time after time. The tape says he’s been hesitant to do that over the last couple years.”
If that’s enough to get Garrett to decline to do an interview, Garrett isn’t going to be doing many interviews, because plenty of people in the media will be scrutinizing his performance — especially: (1) if he’s the first pick in the draft; and (2) he isn’t averaging multiple sacks per game. The better approach would be to confront the critics, to answer their criticism in a tactful way verbally, and to use the criticism as motivation to improve any and all flaws in his on-field performance.