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What do we do with lawson!

Originally posted by Niners99:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by WestCoast:
he may not be a great pass rusher but he does possess other talents. he can defend an elite TE very well, a rb out of the backfield. I think we should re-sign him.

Unfortunately for Lawson, those things he does well are not needed in a properly run 3-4. Covering TE's is what CB's and safeties do. Setting the edge is what every LB is supposed to do whether you start up at the LOS or not; you set the edge and turn the RB inside to your help. Simple. And even that said, Brooks in limited snaps has more TFL than him. How is that? And let's be real here...we've been destroyed by RB's and WR's on screens as well as speedy backs off tackle so it's not like we can't improve in this area. So again, it comes back to the scheme we are going to run and THE #1 thing we need to help our ENTIRE defense (esp. the secondary) are two OLB's who can provide constant pressure and produce sacks and big plays. That's their job and sadly, neither Lawson or Haralson can do it even after 5 years!

Exactly.

And I disagree with those who say "we didn't ask Lawson to rush the passer." We did, he just didn't get there - like Haralson and Brooks. And NCommand totally right - if teams can't run on the edge, just throw a screen. Lawson usually gets blocked out of the play pretty easily.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/11/19/pass-rushing-productivity-whos-making-the-most-of-their-opportunities/

Do you have an original thought of your own on the matter Mr. 99 (AKA Manny Lawson)?

This is one of those stats that is absolutely ridiculous in the “big picture.” Manny only rushed 111 times which is downright sad for any OLB in a 3-4 defense and illustrates the point even more, that he cannot rush and therefore is relegated to what he can do and that is seal the edge and drop back in coverage (neither the #1 responsibility of an OLB in a 3-4); he's even replaced for LaBoy or Brooks for this very reason.

And to compare him to a real OLB like Tamba Hali who rushed 306 times and maintained a similar rate? Laughable.

Our own Travis LaBoy is on there as well and he rushed the same # of times as Manny did but did it as a third down-only “specialist.” That is more telling than anything esp. given when LaBoy rushes, everyone knows he's rushing!

Manny’s own agent must have paid someone to post this absoluetly meaningless stat. Now, if they compared all OLB's in a 3-4 who rushed 300-times or more then THAT would be a meaningful stat. Or compare all OLB's who only rush between 100-150, OK. But aside from SF, this latter stat doesn't exist b/c other 3-4 OLB's are on the field every down and rushing constantly (barring injuries).

Do you seriously think Manny could maintain this rate with 195 more times focusing on rushing the passer? Puuuhleez!

[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:10:26 ]
Originally posted by Niners99:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by WestCoast:
he may not be a great pass rusher but he does possess other talents. he can defend an elite TE very well, a rb out of the backfield. I think we should re-sign him.

Unfortunately for Lawson, those things he does well are not needed in a properly run 3-4. Covering TE's is what CB's and safeties do. Setting the edge is what every LB is supposed to do whether you start up at the LOS or not; you set the edge and turn the RB inside to your help. Simple. And even that said, Brooks in limited snaps has more TFL than him. How is that? And let's be real here...we've been destroyed by RB's and WR's on screens as well as speedy backs off tackle so it's not like we can't improve in this area. So again, it comes back to the scheme we are going to run and THE #1 thing we need to help our ENTIRE defense (esp. the secondary) are two OLB's who can provide constant pressure and produce sacks and big plays. That's their job and sadly, neither Lawson or Haralson can do it even after 5 years!

Exactly.

And I disagree with those who say "we didn't ask Lawson to rush the passer." We did, he just didn't get there - like Haralson and Brooks. And NCommand totally right - if teams can't run on the edge, just throw a screen. Lawson usually gets blocked out of the play pretty easily.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/11/19/pass-rushing-productivity-whos-making-the-most-of-their-opportunities/


[ Edited by NinerGM on Feb 2, 2011 at 23:27:48 ]
hes one of our best players, resign him. he doesnt have crazy sack numbers but he gets pressure, sets the edge, is good against the run and can cover when needed. harelson is the one they need to replace, not lawson.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Niners99:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by WestCoast:
he may not be a great pass rusher but he does possess other talents. he can defend an elite TE very well, a rb out of the backfield. I think we should re-sign him.

Unfortunately for Lawson, those things he does well are not needed in a properly run 3-4. Covering TE's is what CB's and safeties do. Setting the edge is what every LB is supposed to do whether you start up at the LOS or not; you set the edge and turn the RB inside to your help. Simple. And even that said, Brooks in limited snaps has more TFL than him. How is that? And let's be real here...we've been destroyed by RB's and WR's on screens as well as speedy backs off tackle so it's not like we can't improve in this area. So again, it comes back to the scheme we are going to run and THE #1 thing we need to help our ENTIRE defense (esp. the secondary) are two OLB's who can provide constant pressure and produce sacks and big plays. That's their job and sadly, neither Lawson or Haralson can do it even after 5 years!

Exactly.

And I disagree with those who say "we didn't ask Lawson to rush the passer." We did, he just didn't get there - like Haralson and Brooks. And NCommand totally right - if teams can't run on the edge, just throw a screen. Lawson usually gets blocked out of the play pretty easily.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/11/19/pass-rushing-productivity-whos-making-the-most-of-their-opportunities/

Do you have an original thought of your own on the matter Mr. 99 (AKA Manny Lawson)?

This is one of those stats that is absolutely ridiculous in the “big picture.” Manny only rushed 111 times which is downright sad for any OLB in a 3-4 defense and illustrates the point even more, that he cannot rush and therefore is relegated to what he can do and that is seal the edge and drop back in coverage (neither the #1 responsibility of an OLB in a 3-4); he's even replaced for LaBoy or Brooks for this very reason.

And to compare him to a real OLB like Tamba Hali who rushed 306 times and maintained a similar rate? Laughable.

Our own Travis LaBoy is on there as well and he rushed the same # of times as Manny did but did it as a third down-only “specialist.” That is more telling than anything esp. given when LaBoy rushes, everyone knows he's rushing!

Manny’s own agent must have paid someone to post this absoluetly meaningless stat. Now, if they compared all OLB's in a 3-4 who rushed 300-times or more then THAT would be a meaningful stat. Or compare all OLB's who only rush between 100-150, OK. But aside from SF, this latter stat doesn't exist b/c other 3-4 OLB's are on the field every down and rushing constantly (barring injuries).

Do you seriously think Manny could maintain this rate with 195 more times focusing on rushing the passer? Puuuhleez!

I just want to commend you on your series of very well rationalized posts. It's made for some very interesting reading.

Hopefully, the new administration will take a similarly reasoned approach on drafting, signing players and stocking the roster. Something the previous couple of FOs did a very poor job of. It's one thing for fans to get so emotionally invested in a player that they are unable to accept a failure, or lack of performance on the players part, but it's absolutely fatal to the long term success of the team if the Team itself cannot evaluate performance dispassionately.

Unless a player himself initiates action promoting change (read, Balmer) the Niners have doggedly stuck with some of their first/second round mistakes (hoping that they would come around) to the detriment of the team and its development. They seemed unable to admit their error, cut their losses and move on. The obvious examples are at QB and pass rusher. Since they first drafted their QB, the niners subbornly resisted drafting another until the recent Nate Davis pick late in the draft. Just mind-numbing when you consider the importance of that position. Similarly, after Lawson . . . who?

Moreover, other potential lower draft picks or FA signees, who might be productive contributors, are never given an opportunity to show their stuff, because we are waiting for these first round gems to show up. Five, six years later . . . we're still waiting. Admittedly scheming to a players strenghts does contribute to a player's success, but even so, the qualities of a player are obvious in any system. Speed, instincts, etc. It didn't stop Willis, or Justin Smith, or Frank Gore, or others from showing that they have what it takes.

IMO Lawson MIGHT be OK as a back up. He obviously believes that he is better than that. Nothing wrong with that. But IMO the team cannot invest in him as the answer to their OLB needs. And I don't believe that the team will. So, more than likely . . . goodbye!
Originally posted by Rsrkshn:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Niners99:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by WestCoast:
he may not be a great pass rusher but he does possess other talents. he can defend an elite TE very well, a rb out of the backfield. I think we should re-sign him.

Unfortunately for Lawson, those things he does well are not needed in a properly run 3-4. Covering TE's is what CB's and safeties do. Setting the edge is what every LB is supposed to do whether you start up at the LOS or not; you set the edge and turn the RB inside to your help. Simple. And even that said, Brooks in limited snaps has more TFL than him. How is that? And let's be real here...we've been destroyed by RB's and WR's on screens as well as speedy backs off tackle so it's not like we can't improve in this area. So again, it comes back to the scheme we are going to run and THE #1 thing we need to help our ENTIRE defense (esp. the secondary) are two OLB's who can provide constant pressure and produce sacks and big plays. That's their job and sadly, neither Lawson or Haralson can do it even after 5 years!

Exactly.

And I disagree with those who say "we didn't ask Lawson to rush the passer." We did, he just didn't get there - like Haralson and Brooks. And NCommand totally right - if teams can't run on the edge, just throw a screen. Lawson usually gets blocked out of the play pretty easily.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/11/19/pass-rushing-productivity-whos-making-the-most-of-their-opportunities/

Do you have an original thought of your own on the matter Mr. 99 (AKA Manny Lawson)?

This is one of those stats that is absolutely ridiculous in the “big picture.” Manny only rushed 111 times which is downright sad for any OLB in a 3-4 defense and illustrates the point even more, that he cannot rush and therefore is relegated to what he can do and that is seal the edge and drop back in coverage (neither the #1 responsibility of an OLB in a 3-4); he's even replaced for LaBoy or Brooks for this very reason.

And to compare him to a real OLB like Tamba Hali who rushed 306 times and maintained a similar rate? Laughable.

Our own Travis LaBoy is on there as well and he rushed the same # of times as Manny did but did it as a third down-only “specialist.” That is more telling than anything esp. given when LaBoy rushes, everyone knows he's rushing!

Manny’s own agent must have paid someone to post this absoluetly meaningless stat. Now, if they compared all OLB's in a 3-4 who rushed 300-times or more then THAT would be a meaningful stat. Or compare all OLB's who only rush between 100-150, OK. But aside from SF, this latter stat doesn't exist b/c other 3-4 OLB's are on the field every down and rushing constantly (barring injuries).

Do you seriously think Manny could maintain this rate with 195 more times focusing on rushing the passer? Puuuhleez!

I just want to commend you on your series of very well rationalized posts. It's made for some very interesting reading.

Hopefully, the new administration will take a similarly reasoned approach on drafting, signing players and stocking the roster. Something the previous couple of FOs did a very poor job of. It's one thing for fans to get so emotionally invested in a player that they are unable to accept a failure, or lack of performance on the players part, but it's absolutely fatal to the long term success of the team if the Team itself cannot evaluate performance dispassionately.

Unless a player himself initiates action promoting change (read, Balmer) the Niners have doggedly stuck with some of their first/second round mistakes (hoping that they would come around) to the detriment of the team and its development. They seemed unable to admit their error, cut their losses and move on. The obvious examples are at QB and pass rusher. Since they first drafted their QB, the niners subbornly resisted drafting another until the recent Nate Davis pick late in the draft. Just mind-numbing when you consider the importance of that position. Similarly, after Lawson . . . who?

Moreover, other potential lower draft picks or FA signees, who might be productive contributors, are never given an opportunity to show their stuff, because we are waiting for these first round gems to show up. Five, six years later . . . we're still waiting. Admittedly scheming to a players strenghts does contribute to a player's success, but even so, the qualities of a player are obvious in any system. Speed, instincts, etc. It didn't stop Willis, or Justin Smith, or Frank Gore, or others from showing that they have what it takes.

IMO Lawson MIGHT be OK as a back up. He obviously believes that he is better than that. Nothing wrong with that. But IMO the team cannot invest in him as the answer to their OLB needs. And I don't believe that the team will. So, more than likely . . . goodbye!

Thank you and I feel the bolded part has been a critical error as we have had MLB and OLB pass rushers on this team for years now who, IMHO, just needed to be playing in a proper 3-4 scheme AND have the proper coaching to back it up...hell, you could say that about many players who have gone on to other teams on offense and defense for successful careers. It all starts with proper philosophy and it seems like we're on the right track now.

I just hope ppl really watch the Superbowl to see how a 3-4 defense is supposed to look like b/c frankly, our standards in SF couldn't be much lower! But that's part of a losing culture for over ten years now so forgive them (the fans) Father for they know not what they do (support average, at-best, players).

[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 2, 2011 at 15:05:45 ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Rsrkshn:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Niners99:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by WestCoast:
he may not be a great pass rusher but he does possess other talents. he can defend an elite TE very well, a rb out of the backfield. I think we should re-sign him.

Unfortunately for Lawson, those things he does well are not needed in a properly run 3-4. Covering TE's is what CB's and safeties do. Setting the edge is what every LB is supposed to do whether you start up at the LOS or not; you set the edge and turn the RB inside to your help. Simple. And even that said, Brooks in limited snaps has more TFL than him. How is that? And let's be real here...we've been destroyed by RB's and WR's on screens as well as speedy backs off tackle so it's not like we can't improve in this area. So again, it comes back to the scheme we are going to run and THE #1 thing we need to help our ENTIRE defense (esp. the secondary) are two OLB's who can provide constant pressure and produce sacks and big plays. That's their job and sadly, neither Lawson or Haralson can do it even after 5 years!

Exactly.

And I disagree with those who say "we didn't ask Lawson to rush the passer." We did, he just didn't get there - like Haralson and Brooks. And NCommand totally right - if teams can't run on the edge, just throw a screen. Lawson usually gets blocked out of the play pretty easily.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/11/19/pass-rushing-productivity-whos-making-the-most-of-their-opportunities/

Do you have an original thought of your own on the matter Mr. 99 (AKA Manny Lawson)?

This is one of those stats that is absolutely ridiculous in the “big picture.” Manny only rushed 111 times which is downright sad for any OLB in a 3-4 defense and illustrates the point even more, that he cannot rush and therefore is relegated to what he can do and that is seal the edge and drop back in coverage (neither the #1 responsibility of an OLB in a 3-4); he's even replaced for LaBoy or Brooks for this very reason.

And to compare him to a real OLB like Tamba Hali who rushed 306 times and maintained a similar rate? Laughable.

Our own Travis LaBoy is on there as well and he rushed the same # of times as Manny did but did it as a third down-only “specialist.” That is more telling than anything esp. given when LaBoy rushes, everyone knows he's rushing!

Manny’s own agent must have paid someone to post this absoluetly meaningless stat. Now, if they compared all OLB's in a 3-4 who rushed 300-times or more then THAT would be a meaningful stat. Or compare all OLB's who only rush between 100-150, OK. But aside from SF, this latter stat doesn't exist b/c other 3-4 OLB's are on the field every down and rushing constantly (barring injuries).

Do you seriously think Manny could maintain this rate with 195 more times focusing on rushing the passer? Puuuhleez!

I just want to commend you on your series of very well rationalized posts. It's made for some very interesting reading.

Hopefully, the new administration will take a similarly reasoned approach on drafting, signing players and stocking the roster. Something the previous couple of FOs did a very poor job of. It's one thing for fans to get so emotionally invested in a player that they are unable to accept a failure, or lack of performance on the players part, but it's absolutely fatal to the long term success of the team if the Team itself cannot evaluate performance dispassionately.

Unless a player himself initiates action promoting change (read, Balmer) the Niners have doggedly stuck with some of their first/second round mistakes (hoping that they would come around) to the detriment of the team and its development. They seemed unable to admit their error, cut their losses and move on. The obvious examples are at QB and pass rusher. Since they first drafted their QB, the niners subbornly resisted drafting another until the recent Nate Davis pick late in the draft. Just mind-numbing when you consider the importance of that position. Similarly, after Lawson . . . who?

Moreover, other potential lower draft picks or FA signees, who might be productive contributors, are never given an opportunity to show their stuff, because we are waiting for these first round gems to show up. Five, six years later . . . we're still waiting. Admittedly scheming to a players strenghts does contribute to a player's success, but even so, the qualities of a player are obvious in any system. Speed, instincts, etc. It didn't stop Willis, or Justin Smith, or Frank Gore, or others from showing that they have what it takes.

IMO Lawson MIGHT be OK as a back up. He obviously believes that he is better than that. Nothing wrong with that. But IMO the team cannot invest in him as the answer to their OLB needs. And I don't believe that the team will. So, more than likely . . . goodbye!

Thank you and I feel the bolded part has been a critical error as we have had MLB and OLB pass rushers on this team for years now who, IMHO, just needed to be playing in a proper 3-4 scheme AND have the proper coaching to back it up...hell, you could say that about many players who have gone on to other teams on offense and defense for successful careers. It all starts with proper philosophy and it seems like we're on the right track now.

I just hope ppl really watch the Superbowl to see how a 3-4 defense is supposed to look like b/c frankly, our standards in SF couldn't be much lower! But that's part of a losing culture for over ten years now so forgive them (the fans) Father for they know not what they do (support average, at-best, players).

Great point.

One of my biggest complaints about the previous regime was that they were too in love with their draft picks. They tried to make them work no matter how long it took as long as they showed a glimmer of progress. The key to being a good GM is not just drafting good players but also dumping your bad draft picks and moving on. Giving other guys a chance to win a spot and developing some lower draft picks and rookie free agents. I cant remember when was the last time that we hand a rookie free agent start a game for us. To me that shows two things, 1 it shows the weakness in our scouting department and 2 it shows the GM is afraid to cut his draft picks because it makes him look bad for drafting those players.


Hopefully the new regime can rectify this problem, but Im not overly hopeful about that because Baalke was part of that regime.
  • Wodwo
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,104
Originally posted by NCommand:

Good, quick research and a good example to start out with as we’ll be running a similar version of the 3-4 in SF! So remember that old argument about how the WILL is supposed to be the primary rusher and the SAM is more responsible for sealing the edge, lining up over the TE and covering? Debunked…Clay Matthews primary position IS the SAM and that is the same position as Lawson and in one season, Clay has put up more sack numbers, QB pressures and big plays than Manny has his entire collective five-year career!

I’ll tell you what…you and I should really watch this Superbowl closely for the “other OLB” on both teams to see how they are utilized in their 3-4’s to get a better idea of how our current personnel (leaving or not) would fit in. I’ll be as objective as possible. Deal?

Your contention is that Manny hasn’t been used properly and that if we add Manny to a Dom Capers-like defense, Manny would emulate Clay’s production?

In this case, Fangio won’t have the final say. I think there is no question that Baalke is targeting a pass rusher within his first two picks. He seems to “get it” esp. coming from the background as a former OLB himelf.

I’m not a big college fan but I’m interesting in hearing what you have to say about this connection b/c it may pay dividends into understanding our draft board come April. Do you or others have anymore thoughts on this issue?

Was this long enough? LOL

Great response, as always.

I just cut out everything that was a good enough point to not even bother debating.

I'll use my the same response format that I did last time. IMO, it cuts down on post size.... we both tend to get a little "wordy", yes?

1) Dom Capers is creative and unorthodox. The role of the SAM from previous discussions was meant for traditional "read and react" 3-4 defenses, like the vanilla one that we ran. Even in the vanilla defense the SAM needs to be able to rush the passer at least well enough to pressure the QB. Clay Matthews is not a traditional 3-4 OLB, either. I do think the vanilla 3-4 is going the way of the dodo. So, not debunked... going extinct. Fair?

2) Deal! Though, it's hard to avoid watching Raji... he takes up 3/4 of the screen.

3) I don't think Lawson has been used correctly, but I don't think he would have nearly the same success that Matthews does in Caper's defense. I believe I said as much in my post.

4) I think Baalke "gets it", too. I wasn't trying to say that there would be an argument between Baalke and Fangio. I think they will see things the same way after discussing the scheme. Baalke said he would work with the coaches. IIRC, we hadn't even hired Fangio when Baalke gave his opinion. I agree that we will target a pass rusher or two early in the draft. I think they'll figure it out.

5) Clay Matthews does give some real insight into what I believe Fangio will prefer for his scheme based on what I have read.

Matthews played outside linebacker the year before he was drafted, but was mostly relegated to special teams where he excelled. During that offseason he hit the weights and bulked up. He was used as an "elephant" style linebacker in his senior year. He was basically a versatile defender who was raw. Thing is... he only has 4.5 sacks his senior year.

Quote:

Pass Rush and Blitz: Matthews shows the ability to elude blockers on the move, staying low in his pads and maintaining balance coming off the edge to get into the backfield with good urgency. He plays with 100 percent effort and if unblocked, he is relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback. He is better served pressuring the pocket on the move than with his hand down, as he gives up too much bulk to combat offensive tackles on a regular basis. With his burst through the gaps, he could be a nice fit as a strong-side linebacker, as his speed is evident racing through the holes. Unfortunately, speed is his only asset as a blitzer, as he does not have a good array of pass rush moves. He can get caught up vs. inside trash due to a lack of ideal size for a down lineman, but as a linebacker, his acceleration and power lets him get a strong push off the blocker. He needs to stay active with his hands to prevent getting absorbed working inside, but he gives good effort as a blitzer, especially when attacking from the back side, making him a better fit for the linebacker position than as a rush end. GRADE: 7.0

link

So, it seems that Capers and the Packers were more interested in his potential and versatility than his pass rush skills. He's been coached well by one of the best in Kevin Greene, but his ability to blitz is what got him drafted, IMO.
Originally posted by KowboyKiller:
Originally posted by billbird2111:
Cut Lawson...

Sign a castoff from the Pittsburgh Steelers during the final cuts. The Steelers manufacture great pass rushers -- and always wind up losing a few that don't quite cut the mustard.

It's how Bill Walsh picked up Dwaine Board -- who quickly became the most feared sack-master in the NFC West.

Actually, this very thing has already happened.

49ers claim Thaddeus Gibson off waivers.


Good call. I hadn't seen that.

Ticks me off sometimes that we "abandoned" our West Coast roots because someone in the family wanted to make their own mark with a different direction.

Do you think the Steelers changed course from the direction that resulted in four Super Bowl trophies in the 1970's? I don't think so.

Sure -- they suffered through some lean years in the search for the next great QB. But they never stopped focusing on the plan that made them great to begin with.

Meanwhile, we drafted Alexcuse Smith....
Originally posted by Wodwo:
Great response, as always.

I just cut out everything that was a good enough point to not even bother debating.

I'll use my the same response format that I did last time. IMO, it cuts down on post size.... we both tend to get a little "wordy", yes?

Danka...works for me!

Originally posted by Wodwo:
1) Dom Capers is creative and unorthodox. The role of the SAM from previous discussions was meant for traditional "read and react" 3-4 defenses, like the vanilla one that we ran. Even in the vanilla defense the SAM needs to be able to rush the passer at least well enough to pressure the QB. Clay Matthews is not a traditional 3-4 OLB, either. I do think the vanilla 3-4 is going the way of the dodo. So, not debunked... going extinct. Fair?

Fair enough...and like what Nolan and Manusky said, almost all positions within the 3-4 are interchangeable as well so if Capers feels he can create more pressure with Matthews from the SAM position, so be it but you are correct, they both need to be able to bring the heat and bring it consistently en route to stopping the run and sealing the edge. And coverage? Who cares…all of our linebackers lived in coverage last year and Manny and Brooks had one INT. I’d rather them rush exclusively.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
2) Deal! Though, it's hard to avoid watching Raji... he takes up 3/4 of the screen.

I love that guy…the 3-4 STARTS with the NT in my opinion and for 10 years now, we’ve seen some great ones…on other teams. I have nothing against Franklin but he’s a one-gapper and those are a dime a dozen. A two gapper who’s capable of collapsing the pocket, excels in short yardage plays, clogs up both gaps in the running game AND is athletic even dropping back in coverage and play every down? That’s special!

Originally posted by Wodwo:
3) I don't think Lawson has been used correctly, but I don't think he would have nearly the same success that Matthews does in Caper's defense. I believe I said as much in my post.
This is fair too but how would you use Lawson? I think of all the players on defense, Manny may have been used the best for his particular skill-set (setting the edge and in coverage on 1st a 2nd downs and sub’d on pass rushing downs).

Originally posted by Wodwo:
4) I think Baalke "gets it", too. I wasn't trying to say that there would be an argument between Baalke and Fangio. I think they will see things the same way after discussing the scheme. Baalke said he would work with the coaches. IIRC, we hadn't even hired Fangio when Baalke gave his opinion. I agree that we will target a pass rusher or two early in the draft. I think they'll figure it out.

Wouldn’t that be a fun conversation to listen to between the philosophy of Baalke and Fangio? I have no doubt that when hiring Harbaugh, Fangio was part of that package so in that regards, Baalke had no problems letting Manusky go. Like with Singletary, I think there were some fundamental differences there in philosophy, IMHO.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
5) Clay Matthews does give some real insight into what I believe Fangio will prefer for his scheme based on what I have read.

True, he’s a nice visual for us Niner fans of what he expects from the SAM position, or even the WILL (assuming we start out with just one consistent pass rusher). We’ll get a gauge for how much he is moved around, where he attacks (did they game plan and attack the weaknesses on the oline?), how he lines up (up off the LOS with a running start, hand down at the LOS, hiding behind a DT, etc.) what downs he rushes him, how he plays the run (if at all), when he drops back and likewise, it will be just as intriguing to watch the “other OLB” as well and how they compliment each other and fit into the overall pass rush scheme!

Originally posted by Wodwo:
Matthews played outside linebacker the year before he was drafted, but was mostly relegated to special teams where he excelled. During that offseason he hit the weights and bulked up. He was used as an "elephant" style linebacker in his senior year. He was basically a versatile defender who was raw. Thing is... he only has 4.5 sacks his senior year.

Good research! I don’t think I was that high on him either when he came into the draft as well.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
Quote:
Pass Rush and Blitz: Matthews shows the ability to elude blockers on the move, staying low in his pads and maintaining balance coming off the edge to get into the backfield with good urgency. He plays with 100 percent effort and if unblocked, he is relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback. He is better served pressuring the pocket on the move than with his hand down, as he gives up too much bulk to combat offensive tackles on a regular basis. With his burst through the gaps, he could be a nice fit as a strong-side linebacker, as his speed is evident racing through the holes. Unfortunately, speed is his only asset as a blitzer, as he does not have a good array of pass rush moves. He can get caught up vs. inside trash due to a lack of ideal size for a down lineman, but as a linebacker, his acceleration and power lets him get a strong push off the blocker. He needs to stay active with his hands to prevent getting absorbed working inside, but he gives good effort as a blitzer, especially when attacking from the back side, making him a better fit for the linebacker position than as a rush end. GRADE: 7.0
link

Originally posted by Wodwo:
So, it seems that Capers and the Packers were more interested in his potential and versatility than his pass rush skills. He's been coached well by one of the best in Kevin Greene, but his ability to blitz is what got him drafted, IMO.

The things I look for in a pass rusher are natural ability and instincts. Great pass rushers have the ability to keep their eye on the QB at all times despite having a 330 pound OT on them up in their face. They can “feel” the way they are being blocked and have outstanding hands, strength and quickness to disengage and overwhelm the obstacle (bull rush) or work around them. And then they have tremendous explosion by utilizing their momentum to blow up QB’s. They are also skilled at how they hit the QB almost always initiating pain while working to knock the ball loose every time. They also have the ability to raise their game to another level esp. when the game is on the line. They tend to have a Jerry Rice-type of first move or step and like a boxer, know how to set up their opponent for the knock out. In the 3-4, the best tend to be powerful as well in the 250-272 range and all can play with their hand in the ground, off the LOS with a running start or standing up at the LOS.

And that is exactly what we need to find…players that have these natural abilities first and foremost, have the measurable to play at the NFL level, preferably ones who’ve played OLB in college so they also understand the angles required for sealing the edge and creating TFL’s and finally, have the athleticism to drop back in zone and make a play from time to time. They can be raw too but grow with proper coaching and have an IQ for the scheme we will be employing.

I genuinely think Brooks could explode in this type of defense and it also suits another OLB in LaBoy as well (although not nearly as strong against the run or out in space). Man, if we could sign LaBoy and groom a 1st rounder behind him, makes Brooks the “Clay Matthews” in this defense, move Haralson to a backup role who comes in intermittently on all three downs, my God, we might be on to something esp. if Fangio continues to incorporate more and more blitzes with Willis. Spikes could change from being a “defensive FB” to attacking down-hill more (and add some incentive to stay) and groom his replacement, this could be a fun defense to watch in 2011. Play up to the individual strengths of Clements, Spencer (up tight at the LOS, very physical and very aggressive including on many CB blitzes), use Mays in the same role at Michael Lewis but blitz him more and allow Goldson/Smith to roam and make plays with an added pass rush, suddenly, every secondary player is playing in front of themselves, down-hill and with confidence again (something Baalke talked about). But what do we know, we’re just fans! LOL
  • dj43
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Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Rsrkshn:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Niners99:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by WestCoast:
he may not be a great pass rusher but he does possess other talents. he can defend an elite TE very well, a rb out of the backfield. I think we should re-sign him.

Unfortunately for Lawson, those things he does well are not needed in a properly run 3-4. Covering TE's is what CB's and safeties do. Setting the edge is what every LB is supposed to do whether you start up at the LOS or not; you set the edge and turn the RB inside to your help. Simple. And even that said, Brooks in limited snaps has more TFL than him. How is that? And let's be real here...we've been destroyed by RB's and WR's on screens as well as speedy backs off tackle so it's not like we can't improve in this area. So again, it comes back to the scheme we are going to run and THE #1 thing we need to help our ENTIRE defense (esp. the secondary) are two OLB's who can provide constant pressure and produce sacks and big plays. That's their job and sadly, neither Lawson or Haralson can do it even after 5 years!

Exactly.

And I disagree with those who say "we didn't ask Lawson to rush the passer." We did, he just didn't get there - like Haralson and Brooks. And NCommand totally right - if teams can't run on the edge, just throw a screen. Lawson usually gets blocked out of the play pretty easily.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/11/19/pass-rushing-productivity-whos-making-the-most-of-their-opportunities/

Do you have an original thought of your own on the matter Mr. 99 (AKA Manny Lawson)?

This is one of those stats that is absolutely ridiculous in the “big picture.” Manny only rushed 111 times which is downright sad for any OLB in a 3-4 defense and illustrates the point even more, that he cannot rush and therefore is relegated to what he can do and that is seal the edge and drop back in coverage (neither the #1 responsibility of an OLB in a 3-4); he's even replaced for LaBoy or Brooks for this very reason.

And to compare him to a real OLB like Tamba Hali who rushed 306 times and maintained a similar rate? Laughable.

Our own Travis LaBoy is on there as well and he rushed the same # of times as Manny did but did it as a third down-only “specialist.” That is more telling than anything esp. given when LaBoy rushes, everyone knows he's rushing!

Manny’s own agent must have paid someone to post this absoluetly meaningless stat. Now, if they compared all OLB's in a 3-4 who rushed 300-times or more then THAT would be a meaningful stat. Or compare all OLB's who only rush between 100-150, OK. But aside from SF, this latter stat doesn't exist b/c other 3-4 OLB's are on the field every down and rushing constantly (barring injuries).

Do you seriously think Manny could maintain this rate with 195 more times focusing on rushing the passer? Puuuhleez!

I just want to commend you on your series of very well rationalized posts. It's made for some very interesting reading.

Hopefully, the new administration will take a similarly reasoned approach on drafting, signing players and stocking the roster. Something the previous couple of FOs did a very poor job of. It's one thing for fans to get so emotionally invested in a player that they are unable to accept a failure, or lack of performance on the players part, but it's absolutely fatal to the long term success of the team if the Team itself cannot evaluate performance dispassionately.

Unless a player himself initiates action promoting change (read, Balmer) the Niners have doggedly stuck with some of their first/second round mistakes (hoping that they would come around) to the detriment of the team and its development. They seemed unable to admit their error, cut their losses and move on. The obvious examples are at QB and pass rusher. Since they first drafted their QB, the niners subbornly resisted drafting another until the recent Nate Davis pick late in the draft. Just mind-numbing when you consider the importance of that position. Similarly, after Lawson . . . who?

Moreover, other potential lower draft picks or FA signees, who might be productive contributors, are never given an opportunity to show their stuff, because we are waiting for these first round gems to show up. Five, six years later . . . we're still waiting. Admittedly scheming to a players strenghts does contribute to a player's success, but even so, the qualities of a player are obvious in any system. Speed, instincts, etc. It didn't stop Willis, or Justin Smith, or Frank Gore, or others from showing that they have what it takes.

IMO Lawson MIGHT be OK as a back up. He obviously believes that he is better than that. Nothing wrong with that. But IMO the team cannot invest in him as the answer to their OLB needs. And I don't believe that the team will. So, more than likely . . . goodbye!

Thank you and I feel the bolded part has been a critical error as we have had MLB and OLB pass rushers on this team for years now who, IMHO, just needed to be playing in a proper 3-4 scheme AND have the proper coaching to back it up...hell, you could say that about many players who have gone on to other teams on offense and defense for successful careers. It all starts with proper philosophy and it seems like we're on the right track now.

I just hope ppl really watch the Superbowl to see how a 3-4 defense is supposed to look like b/c frankly, our standards in SF couldn't be much lower! But that's part of a losing culture for over ten years now so forgive them (the fans) Father for they know not what they do (support average, at-best, players).
There are half a dozen players I would cut if I based my decision solely on what they have done so far. However, when I look at what a terrible trail of coaches, both HC and position coaches, that have come through here in the past 8 years, I have to back off.

Consequently, I can't say whether Lawson has a future with this team or not because I don't think he has ever been used to full advantage. I want to see some quality coaches get with this guy and work with him on his game. When that happens, I believe we will see some pretty surprising results from some guys we don't think much of now.
Originally posted by dj43:
Consequently, I can't say whether Lawson has a future with this team or not because I don't think he has ever been used to full advantage. I want to see some quality coaches get with this guy and work with him on his game. When that happens, I believe we will see some pretty surprising results from some guys we don't think much of now.

You may be correct! But I am curious of what you guys think Lawson may obtain with a better scheme and proper coaching? After all, we're not talking about a rookie here...like with Alex Smith, we have five years of well documented game tape, from a year at the WILL, a move to SAM, benchings, him in the Big Nickel, cover four, rushing almost exclusively in 2009, etc. We have a pretty solid body of work here.

I certainly don't want to disagree with you but just want to understand what perspectives you all may have for Lawson with the Niners under Fangio in 2011 (assuming he even wants to be here, naturally).
  • dj43
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Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by dj43:
Consequently, I can't say whether Lawson has a future with this team or not because I don't think he has ever been used to full advantage. I want to see some quality coaches get with this guy and work with him on his game. When that happens, I believe we will see some pretty surprising results from some guys we don't think much of now.

You may be correct! But I am curious of what you guys think Lawson may obtain with a better scheme and proper coaching? After all, we're not talking about a rookie here...like with Alex Smith, we have five years of well documented game tape, from a year at the WILL, a move to SAM, benchings, him in the Big Nickel, cover four, rushing almost exclusively in 2009, etc. We have a pretty solid body of work here.

I certainly don't want to disagree with you but just want to understand what perspectives you all may have for Lawson with the Niners under Fangio in 2011 (assuming he even wants to be here, naturally).
Honestly, I don't know what Lawson can do. The fact he has been moved around a lot is both revealing and perplexing. Sometimes all those changes confuse more than anything. I see him as a guy that could come off the corner hard in some of those Capers packages where he "shows" a DE charging the inside shoulder of the OT with the LB laying back for half a count and then blowing past the OT who has engaged the inside charge. Capers has a couple of variations of it that are darn near unblockable. He will never be a Harrison but I believe that a guy with his speed and quickness should have a substantial role to play.

I just have no respect for much of anything the "coaches" have done here in the past six years. We really haven't seen much development from anybody other than Willis and Gore, and much of that is the ability they brought from college. It took Vernon Davis three years to begin to show some semblance of understanding a part of his role but he still has major flaws in his game. There are a lot of young players on this team that appear to still be well short of their potential. I lay much of that to poor coaching.

Harbaugh and his staff have a lot of work to do to get this team in shape. Cutting/not re-signing high draft picks just because the previous regime didn't know how to teach the game is not going to help at all. They need to get to work with these guys and do what Nolan/Sing didn't know how to do, and then cut them if they show no progress.
  • Wodwo
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Originally posted by NCommand:

This is fair too but how would you use Lawson? I think of all the players on defense, Manny may have been used the best for his particular skill-set (setting the edge and in coverage on 1st a 2nd downs and sub’d on pass rushing downs).

They tend to have a Jerry Rice-type of first move or step and like a boxer, know how to set up their opponent for the knock out. In the 3-4, the best tend to be powerful as well in the 250-272 range and all can play with their hand in the ground, off the LOS with a running start or standing up at the LOS.

I genuinely think Brooks could explode in this type of defense

Play up to the individual strengths of Clements, Spencer (up tight at the LOS, very physical and very aggressive including on many CB blitzes), use Mays in the same role at Michael Lewis but blitz him more and allow Goldson/Smith to roam and make plays with an added pass rush, suddenly, every secondary player is playing in front of themselves, down-hill and with confidence again (something Baalke talked about). But what do we know, we’re just fans! LOL

1) Well, I'd start with relaxing a little bit on the run defense. The front was so pinched it'd turn coal into diamonds! Lawson would fit that "other OLB" role, which I think is mainly having a pass rush that is good enough to apply pressure (which he does have the ability to do, IMO), but is more intended to force the quarterback into the real threat on the other side. I know Lawson can be effective on stunt blitzes, so I would move him around more and allow him more opportunity to "run free".

2) I like the Rice analogy. That first move is very similar and critical. I agree with your weight range, but I think Fangio is going to prefer someone on the lower end. Clay Matthews was 240 coming out of USC. Von Miller was 237 at the Senior Bowl. I think Miller fits the mold that Fangio would want. I see him as more of a versatile blitzer than a pure pass rusher like a Ryan Kerrigan, who is a technician with a motor at 255. I personally want a guy who has a range of moves and can bull rush, but I think Fangio is more about movement and deception.

3) I think he could fit perfectly, too. I think he only gets one shot at this, though. He doesn't keep himself in shape and if the CBA issue drags out... he might be shown the door. I hope not because there's a lot of potential there.

4) I've been saying this all season! Exactly what I want to see!
He's just too much of a long-strider to be a consistent pass rusher. This guy would beast a 4-3. Save some money and let him reach his potential somewhere else.
  • dj43
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Originally posted by binary2nd:
He's just too much of a long-strider to be a consistent pass rusher. This guy would beast a 4-3. Save some money and let him reach his potential somewhere else.
I don't see it as a money issue as much as it is a "player" issue. The team is well below the cap. They can afford to keep him.

Of course it would be great if he turned into a great pass rusher but that is not likely to be the case. The problem is that NO ONE on the team gets pressure on the QB. Consequently, since Nolan promoted Lawson as being the twin to Mario Williams who was a great pass rusher in college, everyone assumed Lawson would be great as well. The problem with that was that Lawson benefitted by opponents focusing on Williams and leaving Manny free to bring pressure. So while Lawson was very good when teamed with Williams, without that pairing he doesn't create as much on his own.

What Harbaugh/Baalke should do is recreate that college scenario; bring in that stud pass rusher to team with Lawson which would allow him to both rush the passer and utilize his other skills in coverage and run defense. You can never have too many pass rushers so drafting a stud for the other side of the defense allows more flexibility in the overall scheme. It would allow the 49ers to keep a very good player that can still make a solid contribution. Letting him walk will just open up another hole that needs to be filled in the draft, or in FA which is usually more expensive than keeping the guy you had.

Remember Justin Smiley. We let him walk for lack of using him properly and we are STILL lacking for a decent RG.