PITTSBURGH -- Browns DE Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, is doubling down on his draft-day comments that he plans to sack Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger in his first NFL season.
"I stand by it," Garrett told Cleveland media at the Browns' rookie minicamp. "We're looking to get after him."
Those words might sound familiar to Roethlisberger, who was the target of Cleveland Browns first-round pick Phil Taylor in 2011.
The 21st overall pick that year, Taylor, a 337-pound defensive tackle from Baylor, said shortly after being drafted that he planned to add to the Roethlisberger sack total.
"He's a great quarterback, but when I play against him he's going down," said Taylor, according to the Medina (Ohio) Gazette. "I love to win and hate to lose."
Taylor was right that Roethlisberger would go down, but it didn't go exactly as Taylor planned it. On Dec. 8, 2011, Roethlisberger had already released the football when Taylor hit the QB and earned a roughing-the-passer penalty for slapping Roethlisberger's helmet with his right hand. Roethlisberger completed the pass, and Taylor received a $15,000 fine. The Browns lost 14-3.
Perhaps Garrett will have more luck when the Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers open the season Sept. 10 at Cleveland's FirstEnergy Stadium. But the Steelers' offensive line will be ready after hearing Garrett speak with ESPN's Randy Moss on draft night. Garrett said he's "going to try to take [Roethlisberger] down."
"I was talking to [Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey] after Garrett called me out," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an interview this week. "Pounce got a big kick out of it. All of my linemen enjoyed hearing it. They can't wait to get started. I can't either."