The Arizona Cardinals seem to be feeling good about themselves with just over a month until the start of the regular season. New acquisition DeAndre Hopkins is becoming best friends with QB Kyler Murray, and now linebacker Chandler Jones is showing off his confidence.
Jones wants to break the single-season sack record, which Michael Strahan set in 2001 with 22.5. And he barely sees it as a challenge.
Chandler says he, Cardinals are ready to make the leap
“I don't think that's hard to get,” Jones said Thursday, via ESPN. “And I feel like if there was a year to do it, this could be the year to do it, honestly, for me. That's a personal goal of mine. But we have more help on our team. We have a better team.”
Despite how hapless the Cardinals were in 2019, Jones flourished. He had 19 sacks — the most of his career — despite going four games without a sack. He made his third Pro Bowl and was a first-team All-Pro selection for the second time. And he’s right that the Cardinals have more help this year. They’ve picked up guys to complement him and safety Budda Baker, like linebackers Devon Kennard, De'Vondre Campbell and first-round draft pick Isaiah Simmons.
More importantly, Jones feels that he fully understands the nuances of his position. The way he talks about his strategy and talent, it’s almost like he’s seeing the opposition in “Matrix”-style slow motion bullet time.
"Where I am right now in my career, I've definitely felt like I've mastered the art of pass rush, for sure. And half of the battle is just having confidence, knowing that no one could block you. You can say it out loud or you can it say to yourself.
"Each and every game, and each and every week, I feel like no one in the NFL could block me."
Jones is 30, not exactly a spring chicken as far as football players are concerned, but he’s not feeling his age. He feels like he’s only getting better and better, so he doesn’t see a reason why he shouldn’t break that record.
“I feel like I'm getting closer and closer,” Jones said. “And I don't feel older, and I had a pretty decent year last year. I feel even better actually. With some of this time off my body got some time to rest. So why not? Why not? Why can't I break the record? So, we'll see, for sure.”
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