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NY Jets DE Carl Lawson downplays the importance of sacks

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Newly-minted NY Jets defensive end Carl Lawson visited Jim Rome’s show to talk about the highly debated impact of sack totals.

Though his Cincinnati sack totals haven’t impressed, Carl Lawson has been more than effective when it comes to applying pressure. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try and get those numbers up.

Lawson, a newly-minted New York Jets defensive lineman, addressed his supposed issues when visiting The Jim Rome Show this week.

When Rome asked if sacks were the best metric of determining a pass rusher’s impact on the game, Lawson provided a complex response.

“Yes and no,” Lawson said. “If you’re looking at overall, just production and stuff like that, then no, they do not matter. But if you’re somebody who sits there and says ‘I want to be the best I want to do that,’ then you need to improve upon your sacks, no matter the cost.”

Lawson has tallied a pedestrian 11.5 sacks over the last three seasons but has built a reputation as one of the more reliable pressure artists in the league. His 32 quarterback hits were second-most amongst edge rushers in 2020, and ESPN’s advanced stats determined he was one of only 11 defenders to earn at least 10 “sacks created.”

It’s safe to say that Lawson, signer of a three-year, $45 million with the Jets this offseason ($30 million guaranteed) will bolster a New York rush that is in desperate need of help with yearly matchups against Josh Allen looming for the foreseeable future.

No matter his thought on the sack as a statistic, Lawson knows that to be considered one of the truly elite pass rushers, he needs to up his sack tallies, an endeavor he believes he’s more than capable of embarking on.

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“If you want to get that elite status where you’re considered an elite defender, you need to convert those pressures into sacks,” he said. “I’m confident I’ll be able to do that … I’ve had tons of limiting factors to go against me and (I can) still be highly productive, so I’m excited and I’m still improving … I’m extremely optimistic.”

Lawson is expected to join a Jets front seven that also brought in Jarrad Davis and Sheldon Rankins while welcoming back 2020 breakouts Quinnen Williams, Foley Fatukasi, and John Franklin-Myers.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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