Jadeveon Clowney eager to “get this stuff done” with Myles Garrett; Browns D reminds him of 49ers Super Bowl unity
BEREA, Ohio – When they’re not getting started together, Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett look like two old friends laughing and talking on the sidelines of the Browns minicamp.
“Funny, I haven’t met too many guys like that in the National Football League yet,” Clowney said via Zoom on Wednesday. “It took me eight years to get here and find another like that in defense, anyway. It’s good. Knowing the type of guy I’m looking at, I know he’s gonna play ball and he’s gonna do his thing, so I’m excited about that.
Clowney, of course, was talking about his glory days in Houston with NFL three-time defensive player of the year JJ Watt, with whom he wreaked havoc in their five seasons together.
But he quickly fell into the rhythm with Garrett, his compatriot former No. 1 in the overall standings.
“Funny thing is Myles Garrett and I had the same agent the longest [time], Bus Cook, ”Clowney said. “I got rid of Bus, but I was talking to him during this time. I met his mom [Audrey] during that time so i kind of got the feeling of him and it’s like i know him a little bit.
“When I got to talk to him, it was like we were automatically cool. It was nothing crazy. It was just a relationship that we were building. It was like, ‘What’s going on, brother, let’s start this thing. “”
Clowney actually quickly became friends with Audrey Garrett, and the two still stay in touch, making the transition easier for Clowney and Garrett, who are fiercely loyal to their teammates and at times territorial.
But Clowney’s introduction to the team was so fluid that no one would have known the first two days of the minicamp he had just signed in April on a one-year contract worth $ 8 million. , including $ 2 million in incentives. The two formidable edge-rushers and the other newcomers to the d-line not only put on the show during their positional exercises, but stole it. The competition was fierce, the pace was frantic and the boos and howls reverberated through the training grounds.
“The thing with me, I love to have fun no matter what team I’m on,” said Clowney, his third team since leaving the Texans after 2018. “I’m a excited guy. I like to enjoy myself. I know it’s a job, but I’m trying to say it’s football first.
“I still love to play football and be with my teammates. It’s not really a job. You all should know that we have the best jobs in the world. Why don’t you put a smile on your face when you’re out there running and they pay you for it and I play for free? Yes, I appreciate it.
Baker Mayfield was asked about the Twin Towers converging on him in the camp.
“My two little friends? He said. “It’s fun to watch them work. I wouldn’t say it would be a lot of fun to face them. This duo creates a lot of things for a lot of other people on the backend. Obviously we have a lot of guys who are very talented so it’s not just those two but they add a special dynamic when it comes to offensive ploys that these two guys have to be mindful of.
Coach Kevin Stefanski is delighted to see Clowney fit in like he’s been here for years.
“It became obvious to me that he likes people, being around people and joking,” Stefanski said. “You watch how he plays and throws his body, you know he loves this game. It doesn’t surprise me to see him around his teammates, and they obviously welcomed him into this family.”
It’s so natural that Clowney really feels like it’s family already here, just a few days together and a bunch of Zoom reunions since April 19.
“It is,” he said. “It’s kinda weird that I said that. It’s like, ‘What’s going on?’ We already have the impression of knowing each other and leaving no one behind. Everyone gets up. “Hey, do you need something here? If I have you, then I have you. You got me.’ It’s one of those things that I keep pushing through guys like, ‘hey look, let’s be right behind each other. Let’s be there for each other. Whether we know each other or not, that’s what we’re going to do.
That says a lot for a player who didn’t want to sign with the Browns last offseason, in part because of the national reputation the team still had at that time. They were coming off a 6-10 campaign and were not far from 0-16. The atmosphere here is very different from what he thought.
“Definitely,” he said. “It’s a good team, and this group of guys, they’re having fun. They are fun to be around. Everyone flies. Everyone is smiling. We love the job. It’s like having a good time. It can be a good thing for us or it can be a bad thing (to laugh). Right now, that’s a good thing.
The defense is so good it reminds Clowney of the formidable 2019 49ers unit that qualified for the Super Bowl but lost 31-20 to the Chiefs. Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods coached the 49ers defensive backs that year.
“It reminds me of when I look at San Francisco, the same team a few years ago that went to the Super Bowl and that defense, I think we can do that right off the bat, spin the guys and the guys come in and play good. , ” he said. “When they put on the highlights tape the other day, I was like, ‘Oh, these guys make a lot of plays across the league.’ To make them part of the team with me, I am very excited about the rotation of the group. Saves can come in and play just as well as these, and that’s even better. ”
Clowney also spent time getting to know fellow Browns new rusher Takk McKinley in those early days. McKinley, signed as a free agent before Clowney, was tough on himself after a few drills, and Clowney provided encouragement.
“Takk has a high engine,” Clowney said. “He’s definitely asking questions. He absolutely wants to learn and take your advice and follow the advice of others. Takk is definitely a learning guy who wants to learn the system. With this he will always strive to improve. He’s asking questions so I think he’s going to be fine.
So far, the starting defensive line has consisted of Garrett and Clowney on the outside, and Malik Jackson and Andrew Billings on the inside. Clowney, Garrett, and Jackson can all play indoors or outdoors and will.
“I thrive on moving, but I thrive on moving forward,” Clowney said. “Basically the 4-3 [defense] has been better for me in my rushes over the years. Even in Seattle, I probably had one of my highest rush percentages when I was advancing the whole game and not thinking much. Then in the 3-4 you have to think a lot more in the 3-4 for the outside linebacker that’s in the cover and what’s going on around all the receivers and everything. Playing ahead, hand in the ground is much easier and less thoughtful.
The good thing for Clowney is that he felt great the first two days of the minicamp after surgery last season in Tennessee to repair a torn meniscus. The injury cost him the last seven games of the season, and he was held sackless in his first nine, some of which were hit by the knee.
“I think I have proven myself,” he said of his training at the minicamp. “I felt great after that knee injury. I have been training extremely hard in the offseason, so I already have an idea of where I was going to come here. I wouldn’t have come if I wasn’t in good health. I would have told them the same thing. I felt good walking in, and I feel good now. I hope I can continue to get stronger and faster and prepare for training camp.
If all goes according to plan, Clowney will find a home here after rebounding in recent years.
“You are asking the question so early,” he said. “You never know. I thought the last place would probably have been the house, the place before and the place before. You keep playing and see what happens.
“I enjoyed the last team. I liked the team before that. I appreciate this one. I just hope it leads to something better. We’ll see what happens. It’s early.”
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