Originally posted by backontop:Originally posted by AKfanster:Originally posted by backontop:
it seems like everyone is confused on Lawson's strengths. He is not the guy that will get 10+ sacks a season. He is the guy that will get around 5 while creating some pressure, setting the edge and covering the TE. He is very valuable to this team and letting him go will be a huge mistake.
Yes he is valueable, but not as much as you think IMO. I'm not confused on his strengths, I know what they are and what they are NOT. And what they aren't is pass rushing. Even your claim of "get around 5 sacks" is a little over blown. More likely is he'll get around 2-3 sacks.
And that IS the problem. He is an OLB playing in a 3-4 defense that MUST have production from it's OLB. And when I say production, I mean SACKS. Not pressures, SACKS! Lawson is just not that kind of guy. I think he'd be outstanding playing in a Tampa 2 style 4-3. He's outstanding against the run and above avg playing in space against the pass. He just hasn't turned into the pass rusher we all wanted him to be, plain and simple.
Look, I like Lawson as much as the next guy. But when Manusky has him benched during obvious passing downs, that should tell you something. The dude has never been and will never be the kind of pass rusher that can excel in a 3-4 defense.
Lawson is also pulled out on passing downs. He is mainly utilized to cover a TE or set the edge on rushing downs. Setting an edge is pretty important factor for stopping the run. If you don't believe me just watch Harolson try and do it. The fact is that while he isn't that sack master that for some reason some expected him to be, he is still one of the top OLB in the league. I stand by my opinion that letting Lawson go will be a HUGE mistake on our part.
I also think Lawson is one of the best OLB's in the league, but in a 3-4, the primary job is pass rush. He is a player who is playing in the perfectly wrong scheme for what he does best.
Salary cap is everything. If we pay Lawson a lot of money to do everything but rush the passer, we are under-utilizing that money for that position on the field. If there was no salary cap, I would be 100% in favor of keeping Lawson for the reasons you stated, but with a salary cap, you can't keep all the good players on your team, you can only keep the players that FIT well on your team.
Lawson will be a perennial All-Pro in a 4-3 scheme, but we can't pay him All-Pro money if he can't get to the quarterback in our 3-4 scheme. It always comes down to money.