Obsessive Jets Edge Rusher Dominates, Deserves ‘National Recognition’

Carl Lawson

Getty New York Jets edge rusher Carl Lawson celebrates a sack on August 26, 2018.

During the first day of New York Jets camp, edge rusher Carl Lawson gave an unexpected answer when asked how many sacks he left on the field in 2020.

“Maybe a hundred, because every rush is supposed to be a sack to me,” explained Lawson. Since then, he’s made that answer seem like an underestimation.

“If there is a Jets’ record for ‘sacks’ in training-camp practices, Lawson is threatening to break it,” wrote New York Post beat reporter Brian Costello in a recent feature.

I’ve counted at least 17 disruptions and 13 sacks in training camp off Mekhi Becton and other offensive tackles per beat reporter Connor Hughes’ tweets, and that’s not including OTAs or minicamp. Lawson has been on a mission this summer and last night’s episode of One Jets Drive clarified that this quest started long before 2021.

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Lawson Steals the Show in Episode One

Lawson’s private trainers told the film crew that they first met him at 11 or 12 years old, noting that he was a “chubby” kid at that point. Based on the chiseled Adonis we now see before us, I may sign up for a membership at his gym once I finish this article.

“You either love it or you don’t,” the pass-rusher told the audience, “you gotta be crazy to want to do this… that’s why I’m still [at the gym] for like three hours.”

The Rick Ross lyric, “you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym,” comes to mind with Lawson, except replace the basketball with a medicine ball. The Jets’ free-agent acquisition looks like an absolute animal in these must-watch workout clips, but he also detailed where his motivation stems from off-the-field.

“Anybody has the opportunity to rise from the bottom to the top,” Lawson explained when asked why he loves watching anime television shows so much. He continued: “There’s always that one character that no one believes in, [and] you get to watch the character develop through training, perseverance, loss, adversity. That stuff is a constant theme throughout whatever show you watch.”

Lawson embodies that character in the NFL world according to head coach Robert Saleh. “If you look at Carl, and you’re looking at a piece of paper, he doesn’t check a single box in terms of height, length, size, none of it,” the Jets HC told reporters back at the start of training camp, “but when you turn on the tape, all he does is win, over and over and over again.”

“If you want the smoke, come get it,” the edge rusher said when speaking on the anime mentality that he mirrors his game off of, “you think you better than me, prove it, [and] if you think you bad then show me.”

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High Praise From Coaching Staff Is Well-Deserved

In One Jets Drive, Lawson pointed out that the scheme fit was one of the main reasons he chose Gang Green in free agency, and this coaching staff is certainly happy to have him.

“I had some of the highest regard for him before he even got here,” stated defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. He went on: “I think he’s one of those rare guys that [is] an exceptional player but the general public doesn’t know him yet,” noting his “historic win-rates.”

Ulbrich also mentioned that Lawson is as “obsessive” about improving as he’s ever seen. “I’m excited for him to finally get the national recognition that I think he deserves,” the Jets DC concluded.

Saleh has been just as impressed by the pass-rusher since getting to know him. “He does it to everybody, [if] you watch the tape he beats everybody,” replied the coach.

He continued: “It’s not foreign to him to win. What’s cool though is his work ethic and the way he goes about his day-to-day process. I mean he is relentless with his body, relentless with his work ethic, he is an absolute professional. There’s the old saying hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard, [and] this dude is not only talented but works his absolute butt off, and because of it you see results.”

“He’s one of those guys that’s just gonna transcend scheme, [when] he enters he’s just going to continue to disrupt,” Saleh added later on in the presser.

What else can you say about a machine like Lawson? “The better you get, the harder it is to get better,” the edge rusher told the production crew in the Jets docuseries.

Make no mistake though, Lawson won’t quit trying anytime soon.

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