PITTSBURGH — Defensive end Myles Garrett isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
The target Sunday was the game plan of Gregg Williams, his coordinator.
“I think we just took the wrong approach this time,” Garrett said after the 33-18 loss to the Steelers. “I think we should’ve just stayed with what we did the first time, just go with base calls and punch them in the mouth.”
The Browns tied the Steelers at 21 in the opener, forcing six turnovers, five from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“It’s not always going to be six, but I feel like if we would’ve stuck with what we did before, then we could’ve had another game like that or near that,” Garrett said.
After not allowing a first down on three first-quarter drives Sunday, the defense folded. The Steelers finished with 421 yards, including 168 rushing.
Garrett blamed the game plan.
“It didn’t work the rest of the quarters,” he said.
Garrett said Williams was trying to keep the Steelers off-balance and see how they’d react, but he thought the change was detrimental.
“I just feel like we were moving around a lot in the front four and we were experimenting with some things, and I think we should’ve just stayed in our usual calls and just got after that, but we’ll go back and look at what we could’ve done better,” he said. “They were able to adjust, and we have to do the same thing.”
Garrett said the scheme switch wasn’t “super-complicated” but the players weren’t in the right places at the right times and the Steelers took advantage, especially James Conner, who rushed for 146 yards, a 6.1 average and two touchdowns.
Garrett didn’t see his strong words as a criticism of Williams.
“He wants to go with the best plan possible, and if we think what works best would be what we did before, then he’s going to take our adjustment into account,” Garrett said. “He’s not going to bash us for having an opinion. He wants us to be able to be on the field and be comfortable.’’
Garrett had a sack to give him eight for the season, the most for a Browns player through eight games. That was his only tackle.
“It’s never going to be good enough for me,” he said. “Had a sack early, had a tackle, but other than that, I was holding my edge but didn’t make enough pays.
“Just being in the right place at the right time is not enough. We’ve got to be all over the field and we’ve just got to dominate and I wasn’t there.”
The Steelers held a moment of silence before the game following the killing of 11 people at a synagogue Saturday in Pittsburgh.
“Our hearts are heavy, but we must stand against anti-Semitism and hate crimes of any nature and come together to preserve our values and our community,” owner Art Rooney II said in a statement.
The Steelers players were affected by the tragedy and tried to help the city deal with it.
“There is so much love here in this town for the sports, for each other, for all the different races, ethnicities, religions, everything we have here, such a melting pot, this city,” Roethlisberger said. “For this to happen, it brought tears to my eyes last night and during that moment of silence pregame, same thing, because we all just need to love each other and put our faith in the lord that we will get this fixed.”
General manager John Dorsey could be busy before the trade deadline Tuesday at 4 p.m. as he continues to remake the roster, and one offer he might have to consider could come from the Patriots.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported the Patriots have had internal discussions about trying to trade for linebacker Jamie Collins, citing a source. The Browns traded a third-round pick to the Patriots for Collins at the deadline in 2016, then signed him to a four-year, $50 million after the season.
The Patriots are looking for help for their front seven as they prepare for another playoff run. The Browns don’t have much depth at linebacker, especially with starting middle linebacker Joe Schobert missing his second straight game Sunday with a hamstring injury. But Collins has been inconsistent, and the idea of dumping his salary could appeal to Dorsey.
Collins led the Browns with 11 tackles Sunday, including one for a loss, and forced a fumble. For the year he has 56 tackles, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
Coach Hue Jackson, whose job security remains a popular topic of conversation, didn’t know the Cavaliers had fired coach Tyronn Lue on Sunday after an 0-6 start.
“He has done a great job in Cleveland for the Cavaliers,” Jackson said. “He has won championships. That is unfortunate.”
** Jackson chose not to call any of his three timeouts at the end of the half with the Steelers deep in Browns territory. Pittsburgh wound up leaving only eight seconds on the clock after scoring a touchdown that made it 14-6.
Jackson was asked why he didn’t stop the clock to save time for an offensive possession.
“I honestly don’t even recall that situation you are speaking to,” he said. “I don’t want to say something and be wrong.”
Rookie receiver Antonio Callaway was ticketed for speeding at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 14 before the loss to the Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium. He was pulled over in a 2018 Jaguar SUV heading east on Royalton Road in Strongsville. Police say he was going 58 mph in a 35 mph zone.
In August he was charged with driving with a suspended license and marijuana possession following a traffic stop. He pleaded not guilty.
Rookie cornerback Denzel Ward had a career-high seven tackles and a fumble recovery. He has five takeaways on the season — three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
** Receiver Rashard Higgins (knee) was inactive for the third straight week, Schobert (hamstring) and cornerback E.J. Gaines (concussion) for the second week. Receiver Da’Mari Scott (shoulder) was downgraded to out Saturday.
** The healthy inactives were third quarterback Drew Stanton, tight end Pharaoh Brown and defensive tackle Carl Davis.