Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said he didn’t have any issue with the video that’s been making the rounds on X today of Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett lining up as a middle linebacker and feigning dribbling a basketball between his legs before charging up the middle to pressure quarterback Joe Burrow.
“You could tell he was feeling himself,” Callahan said the day after his team’s 24-3 loss. “And he can. He’s allowed to do that.”
Step 1: Have Myles force the QB to drive up in the pocket
Step 2: Have AWalk rush with an eye on QB movement off Myles' pressure
Step 3: Rally to the football
Fun formula with your 5-down pressure package. pic.twitter.com/CzoxaWYcyN
— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) September 11, 2023
Bengals OC Brian Callahan Discusses Myles Garrett
The play came on the opening drive of the game with the Bengals facing 3rd-and-5 at the Cleveland 47 — one of only four offensive snaps the team took in Browns territory in the first half. But rushing Garrett from the middle linebacker spot, new Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz got a one-on-one matchup against Cincinnati center Ted Karras.
Garrett didn’t get the sack, but he was on Burrow in an instant, forcing him to step up in the pocket, which Schwartz and the Browns anticipated.
Defensive end Ogbo Okoronkwo didn’t get the edge against Jonah Williams and a chip from Trayveon Williams, but he didn’t need to as he slipped underneath to catch Burrow moving forward in the pocket for one of Cleveland’s two sacks in the game.
“That was an unscouted look for us,” Callahan said. “They hadn’t shown that much. They’ve moved (Garrett) around, but not in that manner. And that’s a tough matchup for Ted. We adjusted our protections on the sideline after that play and didn’t have a problem with it again. But that particular one, that was tough.”
“His ability to move and change direction in pass rush is ridiculous,” Callahan added.
Garrett lined up at inside linebacker four times in the game, per Pro Football Focus. Burrow threw three incompletions on the instances after the sack. Those four snaps were one shy of the total number of times Garrett lined up as an inside backer in 2022.
“He did a little bit of it a couple years back, so he’s done some of it,” Callahan said. “In a single game that was probably the most — without really studying it — that I’ve ever seen.”
The alignment might have been a surprise, but Garrett himself is anything but for Callahan and a Bengals offensive staff that has been trying to deal with him since 2019. Garrett began his career as the No. 1 overall pick in 2017, and Callahan is certain he knows where the road ends — as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
“Absolutely,” Callahan said. “When he’s really on, he’s almost unblockable; when he’s really going, and in a one-on-one spot. His size and his ability to play with speed at that size and still have the power, it’s like him, (Nick) Bosa, and (J.J.) Watt — those are the only guys that can play with that kind of speed, power, and suddenness. His pass-rush moves — some of the ones he pulls off — are unbelievable. He’s going to the Hall of Fame. There’s no doubt about that.”
“I don’t like playing against him,” he continued. “His little Euro-step move that he does, where he goes like he’s gonna (take on the tight end) and he hits the (tackle) and then accelerates and swipes, I don’t know how you block that.”
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