Carl Lawson can’t reach for a cold drink without thinking about sacking the quarterback.
It’s set up this way by design at Lawson’s home, where a list of goals, including a decidedly lofty sack number and specific areas, as a way to stay in lock on improving his first season with the Jets. Hangs on the refrigerator.
“I think the sky’s the limit,” Lawson said, “but, at the end of the day, it’s life. Not every goal you set is going to happen because there are external factors. But I want to reach the highest level of my potential.” I will do everything in my power to do what I think I could possibly be, which is something else.
Lawson declined to share the specific sack goal, but he scored a total of 20 in four seasons with the Bengals, including 8.5 as a rookie in 2017 and signing a three-year, $45 million free-agent contract. Before the previous season included 5.5. He arrived at a voluntary OTA this week after spending the final two on his own diet, including a Memorial Day weekend trip to the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas.
“I did jiu jitsu when I was 15, 16 years old” [years old] But they wanted me to quit football,” Lawson said. “So I stopped.”
That form of training helps in a better understanding of body leverage. He lost 13 games in the 2018 and 2019 seasons combined and endured two ACL tears dating back to Auburn.
“I’m an explosive athlete, but you have to be able to control it,” Lawson said. “Primarily focusing on being strong, stable, durable and available, especially now that we have 17 games.”
Reminded that both Floyd Mayweather ($30 million) and Logan Paul ($20 million) were expecting a big pay day from their recent exhibition bout, Lawson quipped, “I just felt too good to sign with the Jets.” earned money.”
that he did. And with their $30 million guaranteed, there are hopes of becoming the first Jet to break double-digit sacks since Muhammad Wilkerson in 2015 and the first major edge-rusher since John Abraham left town in 2006 .
“There are times when edge rushers miss because QBs can step into the pocket,” said defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbricht. “We have so many interiors, I don’t know how many pockets it would be to step into.”
Teaming up Lawson with defensive tackles Quinnon Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi and Sheldon Rankins should be advantageous across the board. Compare the correct scenario to coach Robert Saleh’s former 49ers, where Dee Ford and Nick Bossa were added around DeForest Bakker and Eric Armstead to raise the pass rush to Super Bowl heights.
Lawson’s 32 quarterback hastily followed only 15-sack TJ Watt last season, so he may be due for a breakthrough like jet-giant Leonard Williams when he went from 3.5 sacks-per-season average to 11.5. Gone.
“I want the sacks to go up regardless,” Lawson said. “My mindset is that no matter who is around me, I should win my 1-on-1″ [matchup]. It’s a great thing – great internal player – but the way I think about it no matter what the situation is because what if everyone gets hurt? can i use this as my excuse [fewer] sacks? No.”
Lawson said learning the Jets defense is “simple and fun because it matches what I do.” But next week’s minicamp iteration will be a better measuring stick than easing Thursday’s practice.
“I’m excited, more excited to see my mistakes rather than the good I do,” Lawson said. “I know there will be some things I’m not used to, so I’ll be able to analyze and move on with that.”
According to Lawson’s description of Ulbricht, it’s not a party line.
“Passed by the game,” Ulbricht said. “He wants to be the most technical pass-rusher in the league.
While missing from the OTAs, Lawson sent workout videos to defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton. Day-to-day progress is the only way to achieve your big-picture goal.
“If I ever want to fall short, I’ll be fine with it because I know I did everything I could to get there,” Lawson said. “Whatever you do in life, I think if you really care about what you’re doing, you should approach it that way.”