This is one in a series of articles that will also appear in the New York Jets 2022 Yearbook, which will be published later this summer.
DE Carl Lawson, arguably the Jets' biggest offseason addition in 2021, is still champing at the bit to make his debut in green and white. Lawson's season ended last August when he ruptured his Achilles tendon in a joint practice against the Packers, ending his stellar training camp and his first Jets season.
"I'm extremely eager, extremely excited," Lawson said. "I learned a lot just from the film. It would've stunk if I hadn't gotten all that film on tape that I had gotten earlier in camp. Now I can go and replicate, I can pull from my notes, I can study from the film. It'll be like from muscle memory instead of trying to learn things."
Lawson rejoins a strong group that received reinforcements in the offseason. Joe Douglas signed a trio of linemen in Jacob Martin, Vinny Curry and Solomon Thomas before adding Jermaine Johnson (first round) and Micheal Clemons (fourth round) in the draft.
"I think the potential is out of the roof, but at the same time, we have to stay healthy, we have to be able to execute," Lawson said. "We're always looking to continue to add to this group of hungry guys. I love this group because it's a bunch of guys with different backstories. It's going to be a competitive group, so it's going to create a breeding ground for absolute monsters."
That breeding ground also includes John Franklin-Myers, who is coming off a career year with 6 sacks (tied for the team lead) and earned a contract extension in October; Quinnen Williams, who has 13 sacks over the last two seasons; Sheldon Rankins, Bryce Huff and Nathan Shepherd. All enter Year 2 under HC Robert Saleh.
"I have huge expectations for myself," Williams said on NFL Network. "We push each other, but I have to push myself to an unbelievable place so I can be the player that I want to be in the NFL."