Quarterback Joe Burrow took the shotgun snap from heart Ted Karras and rapidly confronted a flash of white and silver off the best edge. Bearing down on him was second-year defender Micah Parsons, who had simply gotten previous his former teammate, proper sort out La’el Collins.
One way or the other, Burrow managed to keep away from Parsons, displaying some nifty footwork within the pocket. The quarterback flashed an preliminary transfer ahead within the pocket, inflicting Parsons to flatten his path to the passer, earlier than retreating and dipping round Parsons. It was a fast, athletic transfer that allowed Burrow to flee Parsons as he screamed into the pocket.
However Parsons was not completed:
Simply as rapidly as Parsons blows by Burrow on his preliminary rush into the pocket, the defender modifications instructions, stopping on a dime to double again and get house for the sack. Generally, an image is definitely worth the proverbial 1,000 phrases, and that is one such second:
There’s Parsons, driving his proper foot into the turf at AT&T Stadium, altering instructions whereas snapping his eyes again in the direction of the quarterback. In a single second, Parsons goes from working full-tilt in run course, to right away altering course, backtracking to get to Burrow and end the play.
That is, for lack of a greater phrase, absurd.
However we now have begun to anticipate the absurd from Parsons, who’s coming off a yr the place he secured Defensive Rookie of the Yr honors, and was within the dialogue for Defensive Participant of the Yr, ending second behind T.J. Watt. He posted 13 whole sacks as a rookie, and appears even higher already in yr two.
Parsons already has 4 sacks on the younger season, having notched a pair of sacks in every recreation this season. He obtained to Tom Brady twice again in Week 1, together with this sack from the second quarter the place he flashed a powerful counter, spinning to the within towards left sort out Donovan Smith to get to the quarterback:
Later within the recreation, Parsons obtained to Brady once more within the purple zone, utilizing a powerful dip-and-rip transfer off the sting towards backup sort out Josh Wells:
What is horrifying is the truth that Parsons remains to be rounding out his array of pass-rushing strikes off the sting. Whereas in school, Parsons flashed the traits to be a profitable cross rusher, however was utilized in extra of an off-ball position. In keeping with the 2021 Pro Football Focus draft guide, and PFF’s charting knowledge, Parsons performed 731 defensive snaps in the course of the 2019 season, his final in school soccer as he opted-out of the 2020 season. Of these snaps, 590 noticed him aligned within the field — in distinction with 59 snaps alongside the defensive position — and PFF charted him with simply 94 pass-rushing snaps.
Nonetheless, the traits had been there for him to be a productive cross rusher. As famous by PFF of their information, “[h]e’s obtained the kind of dimension and ability set that would make him the primary edge rusher drafted if he wished to change to that place.”
Beneath Dan Quinn in Dallas, Parsons has been used typically as an edge defender, and the outcomes converse for themselves. Final season, Parsons noticed 374 of his 902 snaps alongside the sting, and that utilization has elevated this season. Of his 120 defensive snaps this season, 95 have include him on the sting.
And as we shut this out with a take a look at his second sack on Sunday, as he makes use of one other rip transfer to the skin towards Jonah Williams, we will be reminded that he’s simply getting began at taking part in off the sting:
Think about what this might appear to be when he items all of it collectively?