Welcome to the first edition of LET US DELIGHT IN, a weekly feature in which we, well, delight in the performance of a particular football player from the previous weekend. The first player we will be celebrating this season is Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. Braxton Miller, your efforts are noted and very much appreciated, but I already wrote this before the Ohio State game on Monday night and I'm fairly certain this SNUB won't hurt your feelings.
This offseason, veteran Aggie defensive ends coach Terry Price — himself a former Aggie D-line standout — challenged Garrett on two fronts. The first: to play hard on every snap. The second: to become a leader.
"What a difference a year makes," Price told FOX Sports Sunday morning. "He didn't really do it on every snap last year. I'm really proud of the way he played (Saturday night). He's really accepted the challenge."
That quote is from Bruce Feldman's column on Saturday, focused largely on how Garrett and the Texas A&M defense just wrecked Arizona State. The point isn't that Garrett wasn't necessary trying his hardest on every play last year, but for our purposes, think about what you saw from him on Saturday.
Garrett had no problem filling up the box score. Two sacks, two tackles for a loss, a forced fumble (where he chased down Mike Bercovici from behind and hammerfisted the ball about ten yards forward), a couple hurries. That's outstanding, but the things that don't show up as numbers are just as impressive. His get off was routinely so fast that it looked like he was jumping offside. Even when he wasn't getting ridiculous jumps, it was plainly obvious attempting to block him with one man was pure folly.
Also, make sure to derive extra enjoyment from watching this ref sprint into the middle of the play pre-snap for what I'm sure are good reasons.
He absolutely tortured Arizona State's line, drawing double teams and opening up man on man opportunities for his teammates to feast on. And he did it on basically every play. The team ended with eight sacks, and Garrett's opposite number at defensive end, Daeshon Hall, racked up four of them himself.
Garrett is hardly coming out of nowhere to impress like this, but it feels like he's hit the next stage of his evolution as a player, like a demented Pokemon casting PASS RUSH and whoa it's very effective!
Myles Garrett, you are delightful, and we look forward to you adding to your portfolio.