FRISCO, Texas – When you've coached in the NFL for over 20 seasons, it's safe to assume you've seen just about everything.
So yes, Cowboys defensive assistant coach George Edwards has certainly seen linebackers such as Micah Parsons move all over the field to play different spots.
Actually, just two came to Edwards' mind when asked. The names he threw out were Junior Seau and LaVar Arrington.
And make no mistake, none of those guys were freelancing on defense as rookies, especially just six games into their careers.
"Micah has been very, very impressive," Edwards said of his rookie linebacker/defensive end. "For the number of hats that he wears going into a game is very impressive, the things that we ask him to do and the things that he's capable of doing is very impressive."
And while most coaches typically don't like to compare players to others, Edwards was simply asked if he could recall linebackers who moved around as much as Parsons has done this year.
"I'll tell you when I coached LaVar Arrington in Washington he was kind of that role," Edwards said. "In base defense, he was the Sam linebacker and the sub defense he could be a Mike and in the third down he was a rusher. I've had some experience with guys in the past that could do that. We did the same thing when I was coaching Junior Seau in Miami. He wore a lot of different hats."
But Arrington did that in his third season for Washington. When Seau was doing that in Miami, he had already played 13 years with the Chargers.
Now, Seau is a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and Arrington made three Pro Bowls in his seven-year career. So it's likely they were capable of roaming around defenses pretty early in their respective careers.
But Edwards couldn't say enough for the maturity of Parsons, to be able to understand his various roles at this stage of his career.
"I'm going to tell ya, Micah has really done a nice job of embracing the challenge of learning all different techniques and the different position groups that we've asked him," Edwards said. "We just look forward to keep growing with him and seeing his skill set to continuing to improve. He's the type of person that will work hard to get better and that's what he wants to do. He wants to be the best and he's got to work and just keep working through it and I think it will continue to get better as we get down the road."
Parsons currently ranks third on the Cowboys defense with 30 tackles and second in sacks with 2.5.