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The Jets might’ve landed their next big pass rusher with Carl Lawson

  • Alexander Wilson
  • June 11, 2021
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It has been quite some time since the New York Jets have had an elite pass rusher to lead their defense, and they might’ve landed one in Cincinnati Bengals star Carl Lawson.

At 25 years old, Lawson is a former fourth-round pick out of Auburn, and he is just hitting his stride in the NFL, posting 5.5 sacks last year over 16 games as a defensive end.

With Robert Salah deploying a 4–3 defense with the Jets, Lawson fits the mold perfectly at DE. The Jets have a solid interior pass rush with Quinnen Williams and Sheldon Rankins manning the interior. Williams is also capable of kicking out to DE and rushing from a 3-5 tech position.

The Jets also have Vinnie Curry, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, in 2020. He posted a 70.9 overall pass rush grade with four sacks, per PFF, so pairing him with Lawson represents a solid duo.

In fact, Lawson believes he is capable of being one of the best pass rushers in football, and this season may offer him an opportunity to reach that goal.

“I feel like the sky is the limit,” Lawson said, “but, at the end of the day, this is life. Not every goal you set is going to happen because there are external factors. But I will do everything in my power possible to reach my highest level of potential and what I think I can possibly be, which is something otherworldly.”

As a player who posted 32 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles last year, there is no question that Lawson can maximize his game with a fantastic defensive-minded coach like Salah. The Bengals have historically been an inadequate team the past half-decade or so, as their defense ranked in the bottom half of the league last year in points allowed per game.

Lawson was one of their lone stand-out performers in the trenches, and he is looking to increase his sack totals with the Jets after posting just 5.5 last year. As a 6’2″, 265 pound DE, the sky is certainly the limit for a young player with the right mentality.

“I want the sacks to go up regardless,” Lawson said. “I have the mindset that no matter who is around me I should win my 1-on-1 [matchup]. That’s a great thing to have – great interior players – but the way I think of it is to produce no matter what the situation because what if everybody got hurt? Could I use that as my excuse for [fewer] sacks? No.”

Ultimately, if the Jets can command adequate double teams in the trenches and allow Lawson to capitalize on 1V1 matchups, he will feast in 2021. The Jets have had unfortunate injuries the past few seasons, so if they can remain healthy, he should be in great shape moving forward.

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Stephen A. Smith Calls Carl Nassib Needing Bravery to Come Out as First Gay NFL Player an ‘Indictment’ of Society

Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active player on an NFL roster to come out as gay Monday evening.

During his announcement, Nassib noted he hopes to help cultivate a culture where coming out will eventually be a non-story. For now, Nassib’s decision to announce he is gay remains a groundbreaking moment that featured an incredible display of bravery and courage. But according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, forcing a person to depend on bravery before coming out as gay is an indictment of our society.

“It’s a reminder of the shame that a lot of us should feel for making them feel ashamed or making them feel as if they had to hide who they are,” Smith said Tuesday on First Take. “Really, it’s not just about celebrating [Nassib] for his quote-unquote bravery and courage. It’s an indictment against us as a society for making somebody feel as if bravery and courage is required, just by letting people know who you are and what your sexual orientation may be.”

Assuming Nassib continues his football career this season, he will become the first active member of the NFL to play in a game after coming out. Michael Sam notably announced he was gay before the 2014 NFL Draft, but was cut before the regular season began. Other NFL players have come out but did not discuss their sexual orientation until after their career ended.

“We’re still living under that umbrella,” Smith added. “That shroud of cynicism and skepticism and such a strong level of negativity that we really need to eradicate from our society today.”

Smith later spoke about every group or member of society who has dealt with bigotry and oppression in life. According to Smith, if laws support equality to assure civil rights are afforded to everyone, then “don’t trip over somebody not liking you.”

“No one in this world, no one is going to have universal love,” Smith said. “You got to be able to accept that. The goal should never be to be liked by everybody because it will never going to happen. Accept the fact that there are people who are not gonna approve.”

Watch above via, ESPN

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