Cleveland Browns interim head coach Gregg Williams addressed the media Wednesday for the first time since sweeping changes Monday saw the ouster of Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
In a little more than 20 minutes, Williams touched on a variety of subjects, including his shock at the firings and the importance of maintaining focus on playing the Kansas Chiefs on Sunday.
Williams also spent time addressing second-year defensive end Myles Garrett’s Week 8 postgame comments of not liking the defensive game plan against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
While the interim head coach said he didn’t see the comments until later and didn’t interpret them to mean what was said, there won’t be a lingering controversy surrounding Garrett expressing his opinion.
"He’s fine," Williams said. "He is totally fine and it’s really a non-issue."
Garrett’s dissatisfaction from last week’s loss surrounded how the defense attacked the Steelers en route to a 33-18 loss.
The defensive end pointed out the Browns were moving around a lot on the defensive line and "experimenting with some things" in contrast to sticking with base calls, which worked in the season opener as the two teams played to a 21-21 tie.
Garrett, however, did say after the game that he didn’t believe he would cause trouble for voicing his opinion, pointing out Williams won’t "bash" players for speaking their minds.
On Wednesday, Williams indicated he is fine with criticism landing on his shoulders.
"One of the biggest gifts I tell the coaches that get a chance to work with me — and players — is that my biggest gift that I give you if you have a hard time taking responsibility, blame me," Williams said. "They’ve heard me say that over 100 times — just blame me … Now, I’m going to get to the bottom of it. We’re going to discuss it, but there are people that respond that way. That’s just how they are."
With Garrett’s comments effectively in the rearview mirror, the Browns have a larger task on hand leading to Sunday.
Williams, who will retain his responsibilities as defensive coordinator, now has to devise a plan to slow down the Chiefs, owners of the league’s third-ranked offense and No. 1 scoring offense.
And should the Browns drop a fourth straight game Sunday to fall to 2-6-1 on the season with nobody else to accept responsibility, the team should feel good knowing the interim head coach is willing to absorb the blame.
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