The View From Pluto: Helmet Swing Should Not Define Myles Garrett's Career or Character

Nov 20, 2019

Cleveland Browns player Myles Garrett will learn his fate with the NFL Wednesday. Garrett is appealing his indefinite suspension after an ugly brawl at the end of last week’s game against the Steelers. He ripped the helmet off of quarterback Mason Rudolph and used it to hit Rudolph over the head. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said Garrett will be asking the league to reduce the suspension.

On Friday, the NFL suspended Garrett without pay indefinitely, adding that at minimum Garrett will miss the regular season and postseason stemming from Thursday's brawl. Garrett is attending the appeal hearing in New York. It will be heard by former player and appeals officer James Thrash.

"If I'm Myles, I want to go in there and say the same things he did after the game, which is that it's his fault and he's embarrassed. But I think if I'm Myles Garrett I'd kind of want a number for how long I'm going to be out. I'm sure he'd like to cut it down from the final six games," Pluto said. 

'A lot of us are defined by the worst thing we ever did'

Pluto said he was also surprised that Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph wasn't suspended. Before Garrett ripped of Rudolph's helmet, Rudolph was on the ground trying to take off Garrett's helmet. "He did instigate it," Pluto said. "He's kicking him and all kinds of stuff. He should've at least got a game or two."

Putting it in perspective
Still, Pluto said he wants fans to put the incident in perspective. "The NFL has guys that have beat up women, guys that have been arrested on major issues, all kinds of stuff. Repeat offenders on things, just that we don't see video tape of it."

'I hope the Browns use this as a chance to ask what kind of team they want to be'

And, Pluto said Garrett has no prior issues with violence. "No incidents when he was at Texas A&M. No incidents his first couple years with the Browns. Garrett was at Ellet High School when they put the new field in, and he's one of the guys they send out to schools because of that."

But Pluto said in the internet and social media age, "a lot of us are defined by the worst thing we ever did." 

A history of problem players
Pluto said the Browns do have a history of bringing in problematic players, like Antonio Callaway, who was cut by the team just before the Steelers game because he was late. Pluto said the team also learned he was about to face another suspension for a substance abuse violation.

"The Browns have a lot of strong personalities and the front office has not always been real careful about who they brought in. The weird thing is Myles Garrett is not one of those guys," Pluto said.

"I hope the Browns use this as a chance to ask what kind of team they want to be, and not just with Garrett but the whole issue of all the penalties, some of the diva-like behavior in their players and just a feeling that these guys are caught up in their hype. They're still dealing with the label that they're an undisciplined team with a rookie coach who doesn't have both hands on the wheel here."