Carl Lawson’s sack dreams could come true on Jets’ deep defensive line

·3 min read

Carl Lawson is keeping his personal sacks goal on a piece of paper on the front of his fridge. Lawson wants to see it everyday for motivation but won’t reveal to the public what it is.

It’s pretty obvious Lawson wants a dominant year.

“I reached above and beyond to be honest,” Lawson said after OTAs on Thursday.

Lawson’s underlying stats last year indicated that his six sacks didn’t tell the whole story. He was top-five in the NFL in QB hits and pressures, and Pro Football Focus rated him as the 13th-best end in the league.

One factor that could have kept the sack number low: the talent and scheme in Cincinnati.

Now Lawson has stud defensive tackle Quinnen Williams next to him, plus a deep lineup of interior linemen including Folorunso Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers and Sheldon Rankins.

Lawson would never say that, of course.

“I want those sacks to go up regardless. I kind of have the mindset of it doesn’t matter who it is around me, I should win my one on one and produce,” Lawson said. “We have great interior players, but the way I kind of think of it is just go in and produce, no matter what the situation is because what if everybody got hurt? I’m going to use that as my excuse for sacks? I’m just thinking about winning, trying to improve and get better.”

Lawson’s transition to Robert Saleh’s 4-3 defense has been smooth, according to the pass rusher.

“It’s been pretty simple and fun because it matches what I do well,” Lawson said.

But Lawson has a healthy mentality on his goals which isn’t fixated on boom-or-bust, even though he has a supreme belief in himself.

“I feel like the sky’s the limit. But at the end of the day, this is life, and not every goal that you set is going to happen because there’s external factors,” Lawson said. “But I would do everything in my power possible to reach my highest level of potential on what I think I could possibly be, which is something otherworldly. But at the same time, if I was to ever fall short, I’ll be okay with that because I know I did everything that I could do to possibly get myself there.”


Anime is one of the reasons why Lawson started playing football and he gave his answer on his favorite anime show.

“Man, Dragon Ball Z is the goated, it’s the influence that started everything off,” Lawson said.

Then the most important question was broached. Who’s the strongest anime character? Lawson couldn’t give a concise answer.

“I can’t say Goku cause Goku is constantly losing right now. So, I don’t know who the strongest anime character is,” Lawson said. “If you watch the show, Goku done caught a couple of fades man. He’s been getting knocked out lately. Just read it. It’s lazy writing but he’s been getting beat a lot.”

Goku is the star of Dragon Ball Z and Lawson is referring to the Dragon Ball Super Manga online comic book series.

Hopefully the Jets can get Lawson to tap into his superpowers in 2021.

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