With Deshaun Watson‘s suspension finalized, the Browns know they’ll be without the quarterback for their first 11 games in 2022.
That means Cleveland’s defense may have to carry the team for the majority of the season if the club is to make the postseason for the second time in head coach Kevin Stefanski’s tenure.
That seems to be alright with star defensive end Myles Garrett.
“I think it’s an opportunity. I think it’s a challenge,” Garrett said of Watson’s 11-game suspension in his Tuesday press conference. “I feel like us as a defense, we have to look forward to taking on that task. Obviously, he’s a very dynamic player and we might miss his presence on offense. But that’s an opportunity for us to step up to the plate and be a very dominant defense, regardless of what the offense does.”
Earlier in his media session, Garrett was asked about the “uncertainty” on offense and said he felt like it’s always the defense’s job to set the tone.
“I feel like as a defense, you have to make those stands,” Garrett said. “You have to take the ball away. You’re always giving energy to the other two teams on the field — which is special teams and offense — showing that you can stand up and keep points off the board. So it’s always a matter of momentum. I think we have the best chance of doing that.”
The Browns finished No. 5 in yards allowed last season but were No. 13 in points allowed — in part because the team had issues with turnovers. If quarterback Jacoby Brissett and Cleveland’s offense can protect the football, Garrett and company should give the Browns opportunities to win throughout the year.