CLEVELAND — Eight seconds. That’s all it took for one bad decision to put a cloud over a victory against the Steelers. In a postgame interview, Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett reacted to his unsavory actions towards Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph, calling it “out of character.”
“Absolutely. What I did was foolish, and I shouldn’t have allowed myself to slip like that,” Garrett said. “It’s out of character, but in a situation like that where it’s an emotional game, like (DT) Larry (Ogunjobi) said, I allowed myself to fall into my emotions with the last play and what happened.”
Garrett, who faces a likely suspension for his actions, still thought that despite the brawl, “a win is a win.”
“I don’t think it is overshadowed by what happens in eight seconds. Play a hell of a game on defense, the offense came out firing and we held it down from there on. What we did on the field of play for the rest of the game for the first 59 minutes shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Rudolph said words were exchanged before the fight: “I got sacked, we exchanged some words, he kept keeping on and one thing led to another. You can go back and watch the tape if you want and make your own assumptions.”
“We do not react like that no matter what. That is not an excuse for anything that Myles did at all, and we are not giving him an excuse. He does not want an excuse. It does not matter what happened. I do not even care what happened. We have five seconds to go in a game. That can not happen. We have five seconds to go in a game – the biggest game that this team has won… Never beat Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the same year since 1999, and then we have to talk about this. There are 52 other guys on the team that that hurt, and it is going to hurt moving forward. We do not condone that. Myles understands what he did wrong. He has to maintain his composure. Just like he had to do at the start of the year, he had to maintain his composure. We have five seconds in the game. I am sorry, but he understands.
Players weighed in on Garrett’s actions on the field
Mayfield said in order to move forward the team has to come together, show up every day and play football.
“Handle it like a man. Being apologetic. Owning up to it. Learning from it. This is a physical, violent game. There are moments that if you do not keep your cool, bad things can happen. He knows that. I said it on the field after, it is inexcusable. He knows that. There is no other way around it. He is going to own up to it. He is going to handle it. This locker room is going to have to come together because this is going to be a soap opera on the outside much like the media has portrayed us to be from the whole season. We have to be a disciplined team. We have to address it. We have to handle it. We have to come together, and we have to play football. That is our job is to play football. Show up every day and do that. That is plain and simple" he said.
“We can’t have that. It’s dumb. It’s going to hurt the team. He’s going to lose a game, maybe two, you never know. It just kind of overshadows the win that we had today, which still has a lot to improve upon. There is a lot to take from it. Getting the W at this point, the way things have gone, we need.
“I saw my teammate getting jumped on and I went over to go help him out. I am not a dirty player and I am not trying to hurt anybody. I feel like if it was you and your teammate in that situation you would do the same thing. I will probably get a suspension for it, but at the same time if someone is going to come at my teammate, that’s my brother. We have been together for three years. It is not anything personal, but I am not going to let you sit there and hit my guy. That is just wrong.”
Former Browns player Joe Haden, who played alongside Garrett before going to the Steelers, called his action "not okay."
“Myles is a good dude, you know? I mean, I’ve never seen him act like that or do anything like that, but that’s not okay.”