The high school coach of Cleveland Browns player Myles Garrett condemned the defensive end for his involvement in a scary fight with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph on Thursday night.
“Let me start by saying this: There is no justification for that act,” Bob Wager, head coach of Arlington Martin High School in Texas, told USA Today Sports. “I will also say that this is a very emotional game. And again, that’s not justification. But until you’ve been at the bottom of a pile, until you’ve had some of those experiences, I would suggest that you refrain from judgment.”
In the waning minutes of the Browns’ game against the visiting Steelers, Garrett threw Rudolph to the ground, sparking a fight between the two players, footage shared by ESPN revealed. In the video, the 23-year-old can be seen grabbing Rudolph’s helmet off of his head and hitting him with it, causing other players to join in.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncy and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi got involved, with Ogunjobi pushing Rudolph to the ground, Fox News reported. The Browns won the game 21 to 7.
“Very, very out of character in my experience,” Wager said of his former player’s actions. “Never seen that in practice. Never seen that in a game. Never seen that in his demeanor.”
On Friday, the NFL announced in a statement that Garrett has been “suspended indefinitely.”
“If he could take it back right now, he would in a heartbeat. That is not a representation of the Myles Garrett that I’ve grown to love,” Wager told USA Today, adding that he called Garrett and his mother on Friday morning to express his support.
“My message was, ‘Hey, we love you,’ ” he said. ” ‘We support you. You made a mistake. And this too shall pass.’ And it will. He’s not perfect. None of us are. He made a big mistake.”
The coach also said he talked with his players about the incident, and hoped to make the moment a teachable one.