Carl Lawson can’t even have a cold drink without thinking about the quarterback’s sacking.
It’s crafted that way at Lawson, where a list of goals, including admittedly high sack counts and specific areas for improvement in his first season with the Jets, hangs in the fridge to stay locked in.
“I feel like the sky is the limit,” Lawson said, “but, at the end of the day, that’s life. Not all the goals you set for yourself will happen due to factors. But I will do everything in my power to reach my highest level of potential and what I think I can be, which is something from another world.
Lawson declined to share the specific sack goal, but he totaled 20 in four seasons with the Bengals, including 8.5 as a rookie in 2017 and 5.5 last season before inking a three-year, $ 45 million free agent contract. He arrived at the OTA volunteers this week after spending the last two dieting on his own, including a Memorial Day weekend at UFC Training Center in Las Vegas.
“I did jiu jitsu when I was 15, 16 [years old] but they wanted me to quit football, ”Lawson said. “That’s why I quit.
This form of training helps to better understand the leverage effect of the body. He missed 13 games combined in the 2018 and 2019 seasons and overcame two Auburn-dating ACL tears.
“I’m an explosive athlete, but you have to be able to control it,” Lawson said. “Focusing primarily on strength, stability, durability and uptime, especially now that we have 17 games. “
Recalled that Floyd Mayweather ($ 30 million) and Logan Paul ($ 20 million) both expected big days of pay for their recent exhibition fight, Lawson joked, “I just had a really good signing with the Jets. “
That’s what he did. And with his $ 30 million guaranteed, he expects to be the first Jet to break double-digit bags since Muhammad Wilkerson in 2015 and become the first dominant edge-rusher since John Abraham left town in 2006.
“A lot of times the edge rushers are missing because the QBs can increase in the pocket,” said defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. “We have so many guys on the inside that I don’t know which pocket there will be to get into. “
Teaming up with Lawson with defensive tackles Quinnen Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi and Sheldon Rankins should be beneficial on every level. the Perfect comparison of the storyline is former 49ers coach Robert Saleh, where the addition of Dee Ford and Nick Bosa around DeForest Bucker and Arik Armstead elevated the passing rush to the Super Bowl.
Lawson’s 32 quarterbacks in a hurry had trailed just 15 sacks from TJ Watt last season, so it could be due to a breakthrough like Jet turned giant Leonard Williams when he went from an average of 3.5 sacks per season at 11.5.
“I want the bags to go up anyway,” Lawson said. “I have the mentality that no matter who is around me I should win my 1 on 1 [matchup]. It’s a good thing to have – great players on the inside – but the way I think is to produce whatever the situation is because what if everyone gets injured? Could I use it as an excuse to [fewer] bags? No.”
Lawson said learning Jets defense is “easy and fun because it is what I do well.” But the repetition of next week’s minicamp will be a better measurement tool than being relaxed in Thursday’s practice.
“I’m excited, even more to watch my mistakes rather than what I’m doing right,” Lawson said. “I know there are going to be things that I’m not used to, so I’ll be able to analyze and move forward with that.”
This is not the party line, as Ulbrich describes Lawson.
“Obsessed with the game,” Ulbrich said. “He wants to become the most technical passer in the league.
Despite being absent from the OTAs, Lawson sent training videos to defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton. The only way to achieve your overall goal is to progress day by day.
“If I ever had to fail I would be okay with that because I know I did everything I could do to make it happen,” Lawson said. “Whatever you do for a living I think if you really care about what you do, this is how you should approach it.”