When the Browns signed Jadeveon Clowney in free agency, they set themselves up to have one of the better defensive end duos in the league. Myles Garrett was a strong candidate for defensive player of the year in 2020 before a bout with COVID-19 largely took him out of that race.
But a few weeks ago, Clowney noted during a media session that he’s found it could be more important for D-end to have a good rushing partner next to him at tackle than the player on the opposite side of the line. And Clowney could be that kind of inside player for Garrett in certain packages this season.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Clowney said he and Garrett have gotten to know one another well throughout the offseason and camp.
“Ever since I got here, me and him have been spending time together, talking, picking each other’s brains because we know it’s going to take us up front to get things going,” Clowney said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “We’ve already said that. We know what we’ve got ahead of us and what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to work together, so we need to know each other front and back for us to go out here and do what we do — dominate and play well.”
And when it comes to the two showing versatility by rushing inside, Clowney said, “We love that matchup.”
“We feel like they’re the unathletic guys. That guard position, they’re not real athletes down there,” Clowney said. “So they’re just physical and maulers. But we try to get in there and create those matchups for certain guys and hopefully we get some wins.
“You’ve got to think different [on the interior]. Everything happens very, very fast down there. Those guys are much bigger down there. So, yes, your whole mindset has got to change in how you attack the quarterback, how you attack the guys down there.”
The No. 1 overall pick in 2014, Clowney has 32.0 sacks in 83 career games. He missed half of the 2020 season with a torn meniscus.
Garrett has 42.5 sacks in 51 games since Cleveland selected him at No. 1 overall in 2017.