Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner today talked to reporters via video conference. What did he have to say about his individual goals for the 2020 season, how he feels a bit under appreciated across the league compared to others, anticipating tough practices against the Colts’ offensive line and more?
While everybody knows the Colts’ team goal this season — winning a Super Bowl title it’s always interesting to hear what specific individual goals the players are trying to achieve heading into each year.
Linebacker Darius Leonard, for example, has said he’s always striving to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year. So what about a similarly talented defender like Buckner?
First, he wants to eclipse the NFL single-season sack record of 22.5 set by the New York Giants’ Michael Strahan back in 2001. I mean, if you play D-line and that’s not your goal, I don’t know you’re playing D-line, Buckner said of Strahan’s sack record.
Buckner also mentioned wanting to be named First-Team All-Pro after earning Second-Team honors for the first time in his career last year with the San Francisco 49ers. Along similar lines, Buckner wants to be voted a Pro Bowl starter for the first time; he played in his first-career Pro Bowl back in 2018, but was selected as an alternate.
But back to that Super Bowl title: Buckner and the 49ers got oh-so-close last year, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs — who scored 21 straight points in the final 6:13 of the fourth quarter — in Super Bowl LIV. For his part, Buckner was a monster in that game, finishing with six tackles with 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hits, and he’s hungrier than ever to get back to that big game and cash in this time.
Being short last year obviously left a bad taste in my mouth, Buckner said. Obviously not a lot of guys are able to make it to that game in their career, but also when you get there, you’ve gotta make it count. And I wasn’t able to make it count last year. So I feel like we have the team that can do it, and we’ve just gotta get it done.