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What do we do with lawson!

Say goodnight
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.
Originally posted by Owens81Owns:
Originally posted by susweel:
Originally posted by Owens81Owns:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by susweel:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by TheGoldDiggerrrr:
We need a new cba in place. Then we could talk to lawson about a deal. If he's looking for 50 million let him walk. We should have giving JP his money, but lawson is different not really the passrusher we expected. I think if we land miller and resign lawson those 2 could run the arch well. Forcing the qb to step up into justin smith, and ray mcdonald. Ray should get the start over issac, who i believed is the most overrated niner!!!

We had all off-season to sign him...he held out...we didn't sign him to a LT contract. We had all season to sign him....management didn't even bother. In his contract year, he put up a whopping 2.5 sacks.

At the end of the day Balke is running the show and he knows THE #1 responsibility of the OLB in the 3-4 is to get to the QB and it's been well documented over 5 years, even in a contract year, he'll never be able to do that.

In a real 3-4, non-Manusky vanilla scheme, coverage is a moot point. He's excellent at setting the edge but certainly has lost a lot of speed laterally with the injury and all the bulk he's had to put on just to play in the NFL. Keep in mind too that most LB's ARE good are setting the edge. Even Brooks in limited snaps had more TFL's. I, too, have questioned his motivation and heart so you can pretty much bank on MANNY going to a 4-3 team this off-season.

We won't miss Manny at all once we employ a proper 3-4 with the right personnel to fit it. Many fans on this board have no idea what a real 3-4 defense is supposed to look like...so here's a hint...watch the Superbowl and try to picture Lawson and Haralson in that defense and you'll get a good laugh!

Well said NC.


Ncommand, I have read this forum for awhile and have come to the conclusion, that when it comes to defensive evaluation, you are the brightest poster here.

I agree with everything you have said about Lawson. Personally, I think he would be a near pro bowl level in a 4-3 tampa 2 scheme, but the 3-4 is the complete non-fit for his style of play, since he is easily walled off by blockers and overstrides too much as a rusher. The most IMPORTANT attribute in a 3-4 rusher is the ability to get to the quarterback and apply heat. Our previos two stooges, Manusky and Nolan, simply didn't understand this.

But I'd also point out that the person you just replied to, Susweel, is simply a 49er player hater who understands nothing about the game of football. So while it may seem like he is sucking up to you, he actually has no flinging idea what you are talking about and just goes with the flow to be negative. Just a warning to you.



********** PBM ALERT *****************PBM ALERT **************

Nope. Not McLovin, sorry.


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 is totally right - if teams can't run on the edge, just throw a screen. Lawson usually gets blocked out of the play pretty easily.

That's a very poor argument. If Lawson could pass rush, he'd still be at the WILL position and while I hated Manusky's vanilla 3-4 scheme, IF Lawson could pass rush, don't you think he would have loved to use him to ease pressure off his 24th ranked pass defense? Or use him on every down, instead of subbing him out for better pass rushers on obvious passing downs, dumbing down our defense and making it THAT much more predictable? No way!
Originally posted by NCommand:
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 is totally right - if teams can't run on the edge, just throw a screen. Lawson usually gets blocked out of the play pretty easily.

That's a very poor argument. If Lawson could pass rush, he'd still be at the WILL position and while I hated Manusky's vanilla 3-4 scheme, IF Lawson could pass rush, don't you think he would have loved to use him to ease pressure off his 24th ranked pass defense? Or use him on every down, instead of subbing him out for better pass rushers on obvious passing downs, dumbing down our defense and making it THAT much more predictable? No way!

Our pass rushers suck so bad that they don't even have a signature move. At least TBC had a signature move, even if it didn't work much.
I'd let him walk. He's just not a pass rusher.
Replace him with Lamar Woodley if possible if not replace him with a draft pick
Question re: Manny Lawson...to all those Bashing him cause if his sack numbers please explain HOW he's supposed to really get many sacks when he's busy out in coverage? Is it His fault he was used so much as a coverage guy?
Originally posted by SashRoxx-1:
Question re: Manny Lawson...to all those Bashing him cause if his sack numbers please explain HOW he's supposed to really get many sacks when he's busy out in coverage? Is it His fault he was used so much as a coverage guy?

He's the coverage guy because he's fast as hell. And he's 6'5" with long rangy arms. If he wasn't covering you would notice the difference right away. And he is decent at pass rush. Not horrible as portrayed. He's had some decent #'s there abeit not great. He is a good but not great player. But you always need those guys.
Originally posted by SashRoxx-1:
Question re: Manny Lawson...to all those Bashing him cause if his sack numbers please explain HOW he's supposed to really get many sacks when he's busy out in coverage? Is it His fault he was used so much as a coverage guy?

He's asked to play coverage because they tried to use him as a pass-rusher but he miserably failed.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by SashRoxx-1:
Question re: Manny Lawson...to all those Bashing him cause if his sack numbers please explain HOW he's supposed to really get many sacks when he's busy out in coverage? Is it His fault he was used so much as a coverage guy?

He's asked to play coverage because they tried to use him as a pass-rusher but he miserably failed.

Yah they gave him every chance to succeed as a pass rusher but he was simply unable to beat an OT one on one. Most of his sacks that he did get were mostly coverage sacks, you could count the times that he actually beat an OT with a pass rush move on one hand.
Originally posted by susweel:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by SashRoxx-1:
Question re: Manny Lawson...to all those Bashing him cause if his sack numbers please explain HOW he's supposed to really get many sacks when he's busy out in coverage? Is it His fault he was used so much as a coverage guy?

He's asked to play coverage because they tried to use him as a pass-rusher but he miserably failed.

Yah they gave him every chance to succeed as a pass rusher but he was simply unable to beat an OT one on one. Most of his sacks that he did get were mostly coverage sacks, you could count the times that he actually beat an OT with a pass rush move on one hand.

Yeah b/c he's critical in our 24th ranked pass defense and we're stellar against screen passes. Name one other SAM that spends as much time in coverage as Manny. You can't name one...why? B/c THEY ARE RUSHING THE PASSER!

14.5 sacks for his entire career...that's 2.9 sacks a year from one of the two play-making positions on defense. Pathetic. Hypothetically, that would be the equivalent of Alex Smith throwing 5 TD's a year? Gore rushing for 500 yards and 2 TD's? A WR catching one TD pass a year? A CB racking up one INT? Willis acquiring 40 tackles? Essentially, under-performaning at their primary responsibility, right!?!

[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 1, 2011 at 13:37:21 ]
  • Wodwo
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,104
Originally posted by NCommand:

He's also become pretty darn slow over the years (e.g. screen passes), a result of putting on a lot of weight and perhaps, b/c of the injury and motivation?

Also remember most LBers ARE good against the run and sealing the edge...Brooks had more TFL's, Haralson isn't as bad as some say (though he was a college DE originally). Manny is easily replaceable esp. in this new 3-4.

I will say this again, the best 3-4 defenses, the OLB's generate 1/2 of the teams overall sacks - the SAM and WILL are your PLAY-MAKERS! The best 3-4 defense hover around 60% and that is what every 3-4 team aspires too (except Manusky and his vanilla schemes); good luck in San Diego!

Then we get into the scheme? You put a Manny Lawson on Green Bay or Pittsburgh, he would be benched like he was his rookie year in SF when he was playing the WILL and couldn't get to the QB. Ppl claim we haven't USED him properly in the pass rush? Are you kidding me...go to FootballOutsiders and review his whole career esp. in 2009 when we hired a pass rushing specialist coach, Manny was almost exclusively used to pass rush...but eventually, whether it was Nolan or Manusky, it was obvious, he just couldn't do it. Period. And now we are going to a Dom Capers defense and you want to retain Manny b/c suddenly THAT will make him a great pass rusher? Laughable! Face it ppl, Manny is a liability in the 3-4 and if you really like his skill-set, you'll wish him the best when HE chooses to go to a 4-3 defense, ala Julian Peterson.

And why throw in Haralson into the mix? He's already signed LT and he's going nowhere? And he has shown that when focusing on just pass rushing (e.g. the #1 responsibility of the WILL/SAM and really, all four LBers), he did very well coming in off the bench, oddly enough.

In the end, make no mistake about it, it will be MANNY who chooses to leave, just like with Alex.

Ppl need to let go of the old Nolan/Manusky 3-4 hybrid vanilla defenses and the players who played in it. That is ancient history and the philosophical shift has already taken hold...it may take a few years to acquire all the right pieces but those pieces will be hand-picked to fit this new philsophy, a proven one at that (e.g. watch the Superbowl)!

Excellent post, as always.

A little long, so I cut it down to the points I want to address. Hope you don't mind.

Each numbered section will be in response to the paragraphs in order, so that it'll be easier to understand what I am referring to and reply. Damn, I'm really not type A, so this is hard.

1) He has lost speed, I agree. I don't think he is slow, though. He still has enough speed to cover tight ends one on one... unless it's Vernon Davis. Covering a screen pass has very little to do with speed and more to do with recognizing it as it develops. If you are in the correct position, you will be fine. Nose tackles cover screen passes quite often.

2) Sealing the edge is not about making a tackle. You know that as well as I do. The main responsibility is to force the play back inside by pushing and turning the blocker on the edge so that there is no running lane. Manny Lawson is better at doing this than any player on the team, IMO. We've discussed it before and you know that our weakness against the run is... on the weak side. Wow, that sounds silly. Hehe... Anyway, Haralson is awful at setting the edge. If I had to take a guess, I would bet that a majority of his TFL are a result of a cutback by the running back made after they realized the strong side edge was sealed. The most run plays against us went to the strong side, but we stopped the run better there than anywhere else.

3) In Green Bay Clay Matthews had 13.5 sacks. Erik Walden was the only other OLB to record a sack... he had 3. The Packers had 47 sacks as a team on the season.

In Baltimore Suggs had 11 sacks. Jarrett Johnson had 1.5. Ravens only had 27 sacks on the season.

The Patriots OLBs are even worse than ours, but their defense isn't exactly good. Tully Banta-Cain was their best with 5 sacks.

In Kansas City Tamba Hali had 14.5 sacks. Andy Studebaker had 2.5. Chiefs had 38 sacks on the season.

The Jets OLBs are much like ours and the Patriots. Bryan Thomas was the best with 6 sacks.

The only 3-4 team that has two dominant OLBs rushing the passer is the Steelers.

4) Ah, scheme. Check out the last set of stats. Would you say Lawson could be a viable option in Dom Capers defense now? Personally, I'll let Fangio decide if Lawson fits the scheme. If he does, then they can decide what he's worth. Pretty simple. To say that changing scheme will make no difference is just plain wrong, though. Put Clay Matthews in our scheme last season and see if he gets 13.5 sacks. You know that he is a good pass rusher, but that he is helped out by Dom Capers scheme. He's put in position to run free to the QB because of creative blitzes and this increased his sack totals. In our vanilla defense, he'd be at a huge disadvantage. Will Lawson put up 13.5 sacks in Capers defense? I doubt it. He'd be the "other" OLB. The guy that keeps contain and pressure so that the best pass rusher can get the QB. That's scheme.

5) Haralson was the weak link in our front seven last season. If you can't recognize that from just watching the games, I'll find statistics for you. Will a change of scheme help him? I'll let Fangio decide.

6) We'll see what happens. I don't know what this coaching staff wants. Neither do you.

7) Yes, let go of the soft serve vanilla defense! Wait... we already did. Hooray! Now let's see if the players do a better job with a better scheme. With Lawson or without him, our players will be used differently. They might even be used in a way that emphasizes their strengths! Wow, what a concept!

The Steelers and the Packers both run the same base alignment, the 3-4. They both have coordinators with similar schematic philosophies. However, they are very different defenses. If you want to watch the Super Bowl and get an idea about the scheme we will run next season, I think you should focus on the Packers.

My final point: Consider this... Baalke has said that he believes a 3-4 OLB should #1) Rush the passer. #2) Set the edge. #3) Play a little coverage. I agree, personally... but the question is, will Fangio?

Clay Matthews did not fit Baalke's mold at USC. He's been pretty successful in Dom Capers defense. So, we're going to have to wait and see what happens....

I think we can at least be pretty confident that our defense will be aggressive next season.

If there is a season....
LETS MAKE LAWSUN QB HE CAN DO IT HE CAN BE REAL GOOD QB HARBAW CAN MAKE HIM THROW TO THE PRO BOLE
Originally posted by Chief:
Obviously, we punch him in the tits.

Seriously though, give him the cheap. He's solid in pass coverage and I think Fang can utilize his skill set. Give Haralson the boot please!!