BALTIMORE — Browns defensive end Myles Garrett fell a half sack short of tying a 34-year-old franchise record.

Garrett entered Sunday's season-ending, 26-24 loss to the Baltimore Ravens with 12.5 sacks and finished the year with 13.5 after bringing down rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson late in the second quarter.

Reggie Camp set the Browns' single-season sack record with 14 in 1984.

Asked if coming so close to the record will push him to break it, Garrett said, "Absolutely. But, I mean, 14, I know I can do better than that. So I'm not worried. I'll make next year even better."

The No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, Garrett has 20.5 sacks in 27 career games, the most any Browns player has compiled through his first two seasons.

Like the Browns, who improved from 0-16 last year to 7-8-1 in 2018, Garrett showed growth in his second NFL season. He had seven sacks in 11 games last season, missing five because of injuries (four with a high-ankle sprain and one with a concussion).

"We made giant leaps from last year," Garrett said, "and we know we can do the same thing next year."

 

Coaching search

General Manager John Dorsey is scheduled to address media at 9 a.m. Monday at Browns headquarters in Berea, and the team's search for its next head coach will be the No. 1 topic.

Dorsey has said interim coach Gregg Williams will receive an interview for the full-time job. The drumbeat from the fan base for Williams to remain the coach has grown loud en route to the Browns going 5-3 after he took over for Hue Jackson on Oct. 29.

Still, Williams faces an uphill battle to secure the job with the franchise expected to cast its net wide during the interview process.

"Don’t ever worry about me being afraid to compete," Williams said. "Competing, it is what it is. So we will take the next step and see.”

Williams said if it doesn't work out with the Browns, he could receive head coaching opportunities elsewhere.

“Yes," he said. "There is word on the street that, possibly, yes.”

Williams said he would be open to returning to the Browns as defensive coordinator.

“I love coaching, and I want to coach in the NFL for as long as I can," he said.

There are conflicting reports about whether the Miami Dolphins will keep coach Adam Gase. If he were to be fired, the Browns would figure to be interested because they have pursued him in the past under the ownership of Jimmy Haslam.

On Sunday, NFL Network linked Gase and the following names to the Browns' search: former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, a former Browns linebackers coach.

The Toronto Sun reported the Browns have already reached out to McCarthy about the job.

 

Close but no cigar

Rookie running back Nick Chubb and wide receiver Jarvis Landry barely missed statistical milestones.

Chubb reached the 1,000-yard rushing plateau on a 10-yard run in the first quarter, but he lost yardage later in the game and finished the season with 997 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 192 carries.

He needed 28 yards to make it to 1,000 for the season. He had nine carries for 24 yards (2.4 average) against the AFC North champion Ravens, whose defense entered the weekend ranked No. 1 in the NFL.

“It was kind of tough for us on the ground tonight," Landry said. "He did everything he could to get us positive yardage. We were in a situation where we had to put the ball in the air a little bit more than we would have liked to. He did his job when he was called upon.”

A second-round draft pick (No. 35 overall), Chubb still finished with the single-season franchise rookie record for rushing yards despite not becoming a starter until Week 7, after the Browns traded running back Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 2019 fifth-round selection.

The last Browns player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season is Peyton Hillis (2010).

Landry had five receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens (10-6). He needed 126 receiving yards Sunday to become only the eighth receiver in team history to reach 1,000. He finished the season with a team-high 81 catches for 976 yards.

Late in the first half, Landry was wide open near the Browns 35 when a pass from rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield deflected off his face mask and fell incomplete.

“I had the opportunity before halftime to put six points on the board," Landry said. "I just didn’t make the play.”

 

2019 opponents

In addition to playing each of their three AFC North foes at home and on the road, the Browns will meet the following teams next season:

Home — Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks and the loser of Sunday night's game between the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans.

Away — New England Patriots, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.

 

Extra points

• The Browns have the 17th overall pick in the 2019 draft.

• Starting defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was hit in the head by strong safety Jabrill Peppers as they converged on rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson with 10:19 left in the third quarter. Ogunjobi left the game and was evaluated for a concussion, but he was cleared to return in the fourth quarter. He had been playing through a torn biceps he suffered Dec. 2.

• Starting center JC Tretter pushed through the high-ankle sprain he suffered Oct. 14 to play in every game of the season. He was active for the finale as expected, despite being listed as questionable to play.

• The following Browns players were inactive for the finale: cornerback Denzel Ward (concussion), quarterback Drew Stanton, receiver Blake Jackson, offensive linemen Kyle Kalis and Desmond Harrison, defensive end Chad Thomas and defensive tackle Carl Davis. The following Ravens were inactive: quarterback Robert Griffin III, receiver Jordan Lasley, running back Javorius Allen, fullback/defensive lineman Patrick Ricard, linebacker Tim Williams, guard/tackle Alex Lewis (shoulder) and defensive tackle Zach Sieler.

• HBO provided the final viewership numbers for the most recent season of "Hard Knocks," revealing the Browns edition of the series delivered an average audience of 3.9 million views for each of its five episodes this past summer. It was the second-best-performing season of "Hard Knocks" in the past six years, trailing only the Houston Texans edition, which generated an average of 4.4 million views for each episode in 2015.

 

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.