Linebacker Micah Parsons had an absolutely dominant rookie season, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year and first-team All-Pro honors. Entering just his second season, he’s already one of the top linebackers and defenders in the NFL – but he wants even more than that.
Parsons is one of the favorites to be the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year this season. But according to Jon Machota of The Athletic, Parsons doesn’t just want to be considered the best defensive player in the NFL. He wants to be the best overall player in the NFL.
“Last year, I was trying to find myself,” Parsons told The Athletic. “This year, I know exactly who I need to be.”
When asked who that is, Parsons had a very blunt and confident response.
“The best player in the league,” Parsons said. “… I’m not talking about the best defensive player. I want to be like, the greatest. That’s the type of mindset I have and the confidence that I have.”
Previously, only two defensive players have ever won the NFL’s MVP Award: Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971 and New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986. But individual accolades aren’t exactly what Parsons was referring to.
“Being the best player in the league doesn’t mean you are going to have 20 sacks,” Parsons said. “Being the best player in the league means leading your team to a championship and having the best defense. … I have to make everyone around me better. I have to be one of those guys that we can lean on in big moments. That’s what that means.”
Parsons is certainly off to a solid start to his NFL career. But he’ll need to take it up a notch to reach his lofty goals.