Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Justin Skule on facing Browns’ Myles Garrett: ‘You’re going to face elite defensive ends every week’

Oct 4, 2019 at 10:55 AM--

San Francisco 49ers tackle Justin Skule will be tasked with keeping the Cleveland Browns' Pro Bowl defensive end, Myles Garrett, away from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Monday night. That's a tall order for the rookie offensive lineman who is preparing for his second NFL start.

Skule isn't stressing over one matchup, though. The NFL is filled with talented pass rushers, and Garrett won't be the last one he faces.

"He's a really good player," Skule told Mark Willard of KNBR on Thursday night. "He's a heck of a pass rusher and stuff, but I think Mike McGlinchey said it best to me. You can't focus on the guys' names. You're going to face elite defensive ends every week in the NFL. That's what it is. You can't psych yourself out before the game. You've just got to go out and play."

Skule notes that the entire Browns defensive line is talented but was willing to offer up his scouting report on Garrett.

"He's a strong, powerful, long guy, and he obviously knows how to rush the passer. Everyone knows that," Skule said. "He's definitely shown what he can do in this league, and you definitely have to being your A game against him."

Skule is starting in place of veteran tackle Joe Staley, who suffered a fractured fibula during Week 2. The rookie still remembers what it was like jumping into the huddle at a moment's notice in that game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I actually didn't initially see Joe go down," Skule shared. "I just heard someone say my name, and so I just threw my helmet on and started running in. After my first couple of steps, I saw that Joe was on the ground.

"I got into the huddle, and I was just trying to take deep breaths. I think Mike Person just kind of looked at me, and I guess he could see that I was kind of thinking. And he just looked at me, and he was like, 'Hey, deep breaths. It's just football.'

"I think that really helped me to just kind of calm down, relax, and just know that you're still playing football. It's the next level, it's the biggest stage, but it's still the same game you've been playing."

Skule also shared what it was like being drafted by the 49ers, getting the call from general manager John Lynch, and his family's reaction to the news.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Skule below.

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