Bill Belichick on Micah Parsons: I wouldn’t put anybody ahead of Lawrence Taylor, period
Micah Parsons’ elite play has brought in some lofty comparisons.
The Cowboys linebacker is clearly one of the league’s best defensive players, with a pair of first-team All-Pro selections to begin his career. In three games this year, he has 4.0 sacks, five tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
With the Patriots playing the Cowboys on Sunday, head coach Bill Belichick noted in an interview with WEEI earlier this week that Parsons has physicality and athleticism that’s “along the lines of a [Lawrence] Taylor.”
Those are some pretty strong words, given that Belichick’s feelings about the Giants’ Hall of Fame linebacker are very well documented.
So in his Wednesday press conference, reporters asked Belichick if there are similarities between the playing style of Parsons and Taylor.
“No, it’s a lot different defense than what we played in New York,” Belichick said. “Lawrence played outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. These guys don’t even have a 3-4 defense. Not saying they should, but that’s just totally different. … Parsons is really a defensive end.”
But when it comes to Parsons’ athletic gifts, is that comparable to Taylor’s?
“I think comparing players like that, it’s not really — I would just say, I wouldn’t put anybody ahead of Lawrence Taylor, period,” Belichick said. “Now, maybe I’m prejudiced, but I mean, I saw that guy every day for over a decade and he tilted the field for a decade. So, until somebody does that — and there’s a lot of great players and I’m not taking anything away from anybody else, there’s a lot of great players that have been in this league, that are in this league.
“But personally, I’m not putting anybody ahead of Lawrence Taylor. Not yet.”
Still, Belichick clearly has plenty of respect for Parsons and the way he’s used in Dallas’ defense.
“They intentionally move him around,” Belichick said. “They play him on the end of the line in different combinations — to the field, to the boundary, to the tight end, to the left, to the right, to the open side, whatever the formula is. So, you know what you’re getting there. And then they do play him some off the ball in pass-rush situations. And then they play him a little bit at linebacker — not much, but a little bit. But most of the time he’s on the end of the line of scrimmage.
“That’s most of it, but it’s not all of it, and you do have to be aware of him because wherever they put him, there’s usually some action going on there.”
We’ll see if the Patriots find a way to effectively keep Parsons from wrecking the game on Sunday.