NFL players often set sky-scraping goals — marks that regular folks would strain their necks looking up at before requesting some Tylenol to help with the ensuing soreness — but even for a pro, Montez Sweat coming out recently and claiming that he and Chase Young hope to break the league's combined sack record felt wild.
Now, that is no dig at the pair's pass rushing prowess; the two defensive ends could very well emerge as the sport's best tandem in the near future.
However, the current record, set by Minnesota's Chris Doleman and Keith Millard in 1989, is nearly 40. For reference, Sweat and Young notched 16.5 together last year.
At Washington training camp on Tuesday, Young was asked to explain how often he and Sweat discuss achieving such illustrious dreams, as well what other things they have their sights on. Young declined to be as declarative as Sweat, but he did confirm that they enjoy chatting about their collective ceiling.
"I would say that we always talk about being the best," Young told reporters. "I feel like you got to talk about it to one day get there."
Let's set aside trying to eclipse the Vikings' vaunted duo from the late-80s, because again, merely approaching that would require No. 90 and No. 99 to simultaneously rip off inhuman campaigns.
After doing that, though, there are a couple of Burgundy and Gold-specific milestones Sweat and Young should be aiming for, heights that they could certainly reach.
Take the club's own combined sack record, for example. In 1985, Dexter Manley (15) and Charles Mann (14.5) were responsible for 29.5 quarterback takedowns for Washington. That's a legitimate amount for the present edge threats to focus on.
Yes, surpassing the Washington legends would require Sweat and Young to ascend well beyond what they've shown in their early careers, but they're both capable of individually posting totals in the mid-teens, which would squarely put them in the neighborhood. Plus, there's an extra contest for them to work with in 2021.
There's also a single-game stat the two should hone in on, and that's most sacks in one matchup for the organization. Right now, the bar is set at four, and six defenders — including studs like Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo and Manley — have done it.
It's obviously rare for one guy to have that much success at getting through an offensive line and to a QB in a given tilt, but would it totally floor anyone if either Sweat or Young joined that list or even climbed above everyone else to take up residence on their own? That answer should be no.
"You got to let it manifest, as they say," Young said Tuesday.
Well, consider this the manifestation, Chase.