Browns coach Freddie Kitchens wasn’t going to condone Myles Garrett‘s helmet-swinging ways, but he does still have his star defensive end’s back.
Kitchens said Monday the team would continue to support Garrett through his indefinite suspension for bashing Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet.
“Myles Garrett’s a good person,” Kitchens said. “We’re not going to pile on Myles. He had a bad lapse in judgment and that’s it. I’m still a Myles fan and I’m going to support him. Our organization is going to support him, his teammates, coaching staff will support him.”
Of course, Kitchens has to know that’s a fine line to walk, after everybody saw Garrett lose control.
“There’s no excuse for that to happen on a football field,” Kitchens said. “I know that. Myles knows that. All the players in the locker room know that. That’s it. There’s no excuse. But, in saying that, we’re going to support Myles Garrett going forward in any way that he needs support.”
Garrett’s appeal will be heard Wednesday by the league, and he will likely contend in some fashion that he was provoked to anger.
“Of course he was,” Browns defensive end Sheldon Richardson said. “If a guy scratching at your face, what you going to? The helmet is overboard, let’s get that clear. But defending yourself, I don’t blame him for defending [himself] at all. . . .
“You can’t antagonize a fight and then claim bullying. . . . you get what’s coming to you. Of course Myles overreacted. . . . He was protecting himself. I don’t blame him. Guy keeps rushing me, even with the helmet off, he’s asking for it. Just leave it at that.”
Rudolph was not among the three players suspended (Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi got one game and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey got three games), though fines are anticipated.