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What do we do with lawson!

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.
Originally posted by Owens81Owns:
Originally posted by Wodwo:
Originally posted by Owens81Owns:


Naw, I think NCommand is right. Part of the reason Manusky was so conservative was he learned from Mike Nolan, but another part of it was Manny's lack of pass rush ability.

As I said earlier in the thread, I think Manny is a great fit in a Tampa 2 4-3 scheme, but a in a 3-4 he's a square peg in a round hole. He does a lot of things very well EXCEPT rush the passer. He's not even close to Clay Matthews in that aspect of play.

Matthews isn't an elite pass rusher.

He's an elite blitzer.

Apple, meet Orange.

Says who? You? I've seen him many times rush off the edge and dominate a tackle 1 on 1. That is what I would call "an elite pass rusher". Now sure, Capers does other things with him as well, but to say Matthews isn't an elite pass rusher and is a product of Caper's blitzes is quite ridiculous.

Well Clay was one on one most of the 9er game against anthony davis and for most snaps he played hand down like a lineman, and he didnt get any good pressure 0 sacks. So i think there might be something to what he said about being a good blitzer. i see Clay Mathews as being a good player, IMO i dont think hes going to have consistent years like he did this year.
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.

ur crazyy asss helll....lawson is a greattt player who fits perfect with our 3-4...

super athletic and takles great..soo id keep him hes been a big help for our run defense...its good to have 2 verrrrrry fast lb u know whaT I MEAN? p willi and lawson....if ur worried about sacks n stuff blame weakk ass sopoaga...another run stopper with nooooo pressure..so id blam oiur defenseive end for low sacks.. plus if we get a right linebacker in draft our front would be perfect.
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.

Originally posted by jcashen87:
Originally posted by Owens81Owns:
Originally posted by Wodwo:
Originally posted by Owens81Owns:


Naw, I think NCommand is right. Part of the reason Manusky was so conservative was he learned from Mike Nolan, but another part of it was Manny's lack of pass rush ability.

As I said earlier in the thread, I think Manny is a great fit in a Tampa 2 4-3 scheme, but a in a 3-4 he's a square peg in a round hole. He does a lot of things very well EXCEPT rush the passer. He's not even close to Clay Matthews in that aspect of play.

Matthews isn't an elite pass rusher.

He's an elite blitzer.

Apple, meet Orange.

Says who? You? I've seen him many times rush off the edge and dominate a tackle 1 on 1. That is what I would call "an elite pass rusher". Now sure, Capers does other things with him as well, but to say Matthews isn't an elite pass rusher and is a product of Caper's blitzes is quite ridiculous.

Well Clay was one on one most of the 9er game against anthony davis and for most snaps he played hand down like a lineman, and he didnt get any good pressure 0 sacks. So i think there might be something to what he said about being a good blitzer. i see Clay Mathews as being a good player, IMO i dont think hes going to have consistent years like he did this year.

Haha Owned by a noob!
I would like to see Lawson resign. I know the bottom line of how everyone judges a pass rusher is sacks, which Lawon fails. But in a mid-season article by Pro Football Focus, Lawson stacked up well.

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

Im not saying he is great but he does have value.
Originally posted by Sinsation:
we keep him and cut haralson. that guy sucks.
Originally posted by BigYellowKahuna:
I would like to see Lawson resign. I know the bottom line of how everyone judges a pass rusher is sacks, which Lawon fails. But in a mid-season article by Pro Football Focus, Lawson stacked up well.

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

Im not saying he is great but he does have value.

This is a prime example why you have to match up stats with real-world analysis. According to this, Travis LaBoy and Manny Lawson are better than James Harrison and Lamar Woodley.

ROFL

If that's the case, let's ask Pittsburgh to trade immediately. Surely Baalke has seen this analysis and has made calls to Pittsburgh. I hear they're listening.
Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

Thanks for the props and likewise. Manny will always be a fast in-line runner but with the added weight over the years, his motivation and hustle in questions, his “speed” hasn’t helped in the pass rush department (zero explosion and closing speed to make the play; he’s there…but rarely makes the play), he has lost the quickness to beat blockers and make those tackles on screen passes (most to his side) and he has been very slow at sealing the edge against fast off-tackle runners and has been “outrun” a lot of 2010 at the edge, even by rookie QB’s. The only time his “speed” has been a factor in play-making was on that beautiful INT where he had to use his entire 6’6” frame to snag it. Great play though.

Baalke talked about how players on defense were not motivated in 2010 and didn’t play up to their standards. I’m surprised more ppl haven’t talked about this more with Manny. He seemed to dog it a lot in the past and esp. on 2010 which is perplexing given it was his contract year. Does this mean he planned on leaving all along after management refused his early 2010 contract demands? I think so…but we’ll see.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

Manny has become very good at setting the edge but unfortunately it is not with a focus on getting to the QB first and foremost. Sopoaga also had a great year as well, also with a one-minded focus on sealing the edge (zero goal of pushing up field and collapsing the pocket). With support from Spikes and Willis, they collectively contributed to a deceiving 6th ranked defense against the run. I believe you are correct regarding most of the runs went to the strong side (Sopoaga/Lawson) but I haven’t looked it up on FO yet.

Now on to the stats..

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

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! Now, naturally, he is the better pass rusher over Walden but Walden was hurt a good portion of the year but has come on stronger towards the end of the year racking up 3 sacks in the final game and adding another in the playoffs. Again, in one game, more than Manny in 16 games. The difference here in my understanding is that Walden doesn’t come off the field on 3rd downs dumbing-down their 3-4 and making it predictable to block (like ours).

Naturally, the benchmark for ALL 3-4 defenses is to have two outstanding pass rushers on the edge and that is harder to obtain. Actually, the benchmark is the old Saints teams where all four LBers can bring pressure and plays all over the field. But you can get to the Superbowl with just one dominant pass rusher but you typically win it with two (e.g. Steelers).

And make no mistake about it, Dom Capers would LOVE two edge rushers. Imagine what he could do with that! And here is an interesting fact…guess who is Walden’s backup now? Diyral Briggs! He’s been getting more and more snaps too. We all saw the potential in him and let’s face it, he is a pass rusher first and foremost. Dom wants pass rushers at both the SAM and WILL. Even our own Matt Wilhelm is a backup at the TED spot.

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?

As to your other examples, again, it’s not common to have two outstanding pass rushers on the edge but that doesn’t dismiss their primary responsibility of getting after the QB and sealing the edge en route and occasionally, dropping back in coverage. These guys stay on the field every down...and while the better of the two pass rushers are generally highlighted and “freed up” to shoot gaps and take advantage of mismatches, the “other” OLB is still bringing the heat from the other side. If you look at Manny’s whopping 14.5 career sacks, how many of them were as a result of the other linebackers or d-line chasing them right into his arms or were as a result of yet another, “coverage sack?” How many were as a result of him actually beating a man or two and generating his own big play? I can’t name one time off the top of my head where he beat a man or two and created his own big play as a pass rusher and this is the fundamental difference between Manny and many of the other OLB’s you highlighted IMHO.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
In Baltimore Suggs had 11 sacks. Jarrett Johnson had 1.5. Ravens only had 27 sacks on the season.

Certainly a down year for them…out of the playoffs.

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

Certainly a down year for them…out of the playoffs.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
In Kansas City Tamba Hali had 14.5 sacks. Andy Studebaker had 2.5. Chiefs had 38 sacks on the season.

Certainly a good year for them but out of the playoffs for many other reasons.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
The Jets OLBs are much like ours and the Patriots. Bryan Thomas was the best with 6 sacks.

The Jets have yet to establish dominant outside pass rushers to date and it certainly cost them again in the playoffs. I highlighted over the past two years the Niner’s and Jets were the two lowest % ranked teams as far as them generating pressure from their primary play-making positions on the outside (linebackers) compared to overall team sacks numbers.

The difference is that they have an outstanding secondary and tremendous team blitz scheme, something I had hoped Manusky would emulate but didn’t. If you add two outstanding pass rushing OLB’s to their team, no doubt, they would be even better than the Steelers or Chargers #1 ranked defense! Hell, one dominate OLB would be amazing for them!

Originally posted by Wodwo:
The only 3-4 team that has two dominant OLBs rushing the passer is the Steelers.

They are what every 3-4 team aspires to be not named Manusky/Nolan (pre- and with SF). They are what we should aspire to be as well (and the Chargers) on many levels.

Here’s another example…Denver went from being the 7th ranked defense at 315 yards and only 20 points a game in 2009 to the loss of Elvis Dumervil for 2010 to dead last at 391 yards and 29 points a game.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

No freaking way b/c of the fundamental differences with the “other OLB’s” compared to Manny! But you do bring up an excellent point…right now Fangio is turning over a new leaf and has to start somewhere. 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? Of if you put Clay in Manusky’s vanilla 3-4 of 2010, no way he would put up 13.5 sacks? The former I certainly do not buy for one second (Manny just doesn’t have that skill set on any level). But the former I certainly agree with…Manusky has wasted many opportunities to utilize proper pass rushers in a proper 3-4. He wanted run stoppers first and foremost and coverage LBers over real SAM/WILL’s. Period.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

Who would argue this one? Then again, he played under Manusky’s conservative 3-4 which required more of the OLB’s to seal the edge and drop back into coverage and he was also asked to play almost every down. His strength would be focusing on just pass rushing coming off the bench on all downs, not just 3rd and predictable pass rushing downs. He, as the WILL, was never isolated either or moved to create mismatches (unless you consider flip-flopping from between the WILL and SAM a creative mismatch – although he did get most of his sacks from the SAM position). He like our entire defense, should do much better under Fangio’s scheme of attacking and dictating the offense but he probable isn’t the “answer” either. He, unlike Manny, IS signed LT so he is worth talking about at least for 2011 unless the current coaching staff deems Manny valuable and offers him a contract which is unlikely…and even more unlikely he would accept as I feel he’ll probably want to move on to another team.

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

Of course we know what is going to happen…fans on this board have been predicting “the truth” for years now, although we all bombed on last year’s record. Haha. Either way, if the past is a good predictor of the future, we can certainly make an educated guess on what Fangio/Harbaugh/Baalke will want for this defense!

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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!

Hahah, no kidding! Either way, it will be refreshing to see us at least attack and trying to make a play as opposed to sitting back and watching teams march up and down the field on us for a 90+ QB rating while “hoping” they make a mistake.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

No question and like I noted before, the Steelers have more options with two outstanding pass rushers on the outside. The packers will do what they can to create mismatches for Clay but we should pay close attention to that “other OLB” as well whether it’s Walden or even Briggs.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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?

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.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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....

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

[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 2, 2011 at 11:02:16 ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

Thanks for the props and likewise. Manny will always be a fast in-line runner but with the added weight over the years, his motivation and hustle in questions, his “speed” hasn’t helped in the pass rush department (zero explosion and closing speed to make the play; he’s there…but rarely makes the play), he has lost the quickness to beat blockers and make those tackles on screen passes (most to his side) and he has been very slow at sealing the edge against fast off-tackle runners and has been “outrun” a lot of 2010 at the edge, even by rookie QB’s. The only time his “speed” has been a factor in play-making was on that beautiful INT where he had to use his entire 6’6” frame to snag it. Great play though.

Baalke talked about how players on defense were not motivated in 2010 and didn’t play up to their standards. I’m surprised more ppl haven’t talked about this more with Manny. He seemed to dog it a lot in the past and esp. on 2010 which is perplexing given it was his contract year. Does this mean he planned on leaving all along after management refused his early 2010 contract demands? I think so…but we’ll see.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

Manny has become very good at setting the edge but unfortunately it is not with a focus on getting to the QB first and foremost. Sopoaga also had a great year as well, also with a one-minded focus on sealing the edge (zero goal of pushing up field and collapsing the pocket). With support from Spikes and Willis, they collectively contributed to a deceiving 6th ranked defense against the run. I believe you are correct regarding most of the runs went to the strong side (Sopoaga/Lawson) but I haven’t looked it up on FO yet.

Now on to the stats..

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

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! Now, naturally, he is the better pass rusher over Walden but Walden was hurt a good portion of the year but has come on stronger towards the end of the year racking up 3 sacks in the final game and adding another in the playoffs. Again, in one game, more than Manny in 16 games. The difference here in my understanding is that Walden doesn’t come off the field on 3rd downs dumbing-down their 3-4 and making it predictable to block (like ours).

Naturally, the benchmark for ALL 3-4 defenses is to have two outstanding pass rushers on the edge and that is harder to obtain. Actually, the benchmark is the old Saints teams where all four LBers can bring pressure and plays all over the field. But you can get to the Superbowl with just one dominant pass rusher but you typically win it with two (e.g. Steelers).

And make no mistake about it, Dom Capers would LOVE two edge rushers. Imagine what he could do with that! And here is an interesting fact…guess who is Walden’s backup now? Diyral Briggs! He’s been getting more and more snaps too. We all saw the potential in him and let’s face it, he is a pass rusher first and foremost. Dom wants pass rushers at both the SAM and WILL. Even our own Matt Wilhelm is a backup at the TED spot.

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?

As to your other examples, again, it’s not common to have two outstanding pass rushers on the edge but that doesn’t dismiss their primary responsibility of getting after the QB and sealing the edge en route and occasionally, dropping back in coverage. These guys stay on the field every down...and while the better of the two pass rushers are generally highlighted and “freed up” to shoot gaps and take advantage of mismatches, the “other” OLB is still bringing the heat from the other side. If you look at Manny’s whopping 14.5 career sacks, how many of them were as a result of the other linebackers or d-line chasing them right into his arms or were as a result of yet another, “coverage sack?” How many were as a result of him actually beating a man or two and generating his own big play? I can’t name one time off the top of my head where he beat a man or two and created his own big play as a pass rusher and this is the fundamental difference between Manny and many of the other OLB’s you highlighted IMHO.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
In Baltimore Suggs had 11 sacks. Jarrett Johnson had 1.5. Ravens only had 27 sacks on the season.

Certainly a down year for them…out of the playoffs.

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

Certainly a down year for them…out of the playoffs.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
In Kansas City Tamba Hali had 14.5 sacks. Andy Studebaker had 2.5. Chiefs had 38 sacks on the season.

Certainly a good year for them but out of the playoffs for many other reasons.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
The Jets OLBs are much like ours and the Patriots. Bryan Thomas was the best with 6 sacks.

The Jets have yet to establish dominant outside pass rushers to date and it certainly cost them again in the playoffs. I highlighted over the past two years the Niner’s and Jets were the two lowest % ranked teams as far as them generating pressure from their primary play-making positions on the outside (linebackers) compared to overall team sacks numbers.

The difference is that they have an outstanding secondary and tremendous team blitz scheme, something I had hoped Manusky would emulate but didn’t. If you add two outstanding pass rushing OLB’s to their team, no doubt, they would be even better than the Steelers or Chargers #1 ranked defense! Hell, one dominate OLB would be amazing for them!

Originally posted by Wodwo:
The only 3-4 team that has two dominant OLBs rushing the passer is the Steelers.

They are what every 3-4 team aspires to be not named Manusky/Nolan (pre- and with SF). They are what we should aspire to be as well (and the Chargers) on many levels.

Here’s another example…Denver went from being the 7th ranked defense at 315 yards and only 20 points a game in 2009 to the loss of Elvis Dumervil for 2010 to dead last at 391 yards and 29 points a game.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

No freaking way b/c of the fundamental differences with the “other OLB’s” compared to Manny! But you do bring up an excellent point…right now Fangio is turning over a new leaf and has to start somewhere. 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? Of if you put Clay in Manusky’s vanilla 3-4 of 2010, no way he would put up 13.5 sacks? The former I certainly do not buy for one second (Manny just doesn’t have that skill set on any level). But the former I certainly agree with…Manusky has wasted many opportunities to utilize proper pass rushers in a proper 3-4. He wanted run stoppers first and foremost and coverage LBers over real SAM/WILL’s. Period.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

Who would argue this one? Then again, he played under Manusky’s conservative 3-4 which required more of the OLB’s to seal the edge and drop back into coverage and he was also asked to play almost every down. His strength would be focusing on just pass rushing coming off the bench on all downs, not just 3rd and predictable pass rushing downs. He, as the WILL, was never isolated either or moved to create mismatches (unless you consider flip-flopping from between the WILL and SAM a creative mismatch – although he did get most of his sacks from the SAM position). He like our entire defense, should do much better under Fangio’s scheme of attacking and dictating the offense but he probable isn’t the “answer” either. He, unlike Manny, IS signed LT so he is worth talking about at least for 2011 unless the current coaching staff deems Manny valuable and offers him a contract which is unlikely…and even more unlikely he would accept as I feel he’ll probably want to move on to another team.

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

Of course we know what is going to happen…fans on this board have been predicting “the truth” for years now, although we all bombed on last year’s record. Haha. Either way, if the past is a good predictor of the future, we can certainly make an educated guess on what Fangio/Harbaugh/Baalke will want for this defense!

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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!

Hahah, no kidding! Either way, it will be refreshing to see us at least attack and trying to make a play as opposed to sitting back and watching teams march up and down the field on us for a 90+ QB rating while “hoping” they make a mistake.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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.

No question and like I noted before, the Steelers have more options with two outstanding pass rushers on the outside. The packers will do what they can to create mismatches for Clay but we should pay close attention to that “other OLB” as well whether it’s Walden or even Briggs.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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?

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.

Originally posted by Wodwo:
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....

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

Damn this must be the longest reply in webzone history!
Originally posted by SybErkRimInAL:

LOL...nah, I just copy/pasted from all my previous posts on this subject. Kidding!

PS: It just "looks" long b/c it's in reply-mode.
Fellas... we just need to accept the fact that drafting Lawson to play OLB in Nolan's Vanilla 3-4 scheme was a mistake.. sure he was an athlete, but the guy does not specialize on anything.. he wasnt much of a DE at NC State, and this is all he really is..

Like the NBA's Eddie Jones, it is what it is.. dont expect the guy to be a Rushing LB, because he's not.. some need to understand that not every athletic and even great LBs can rush the passer..

i say we let Lawson go.. and use whatever money we're thinking of giving him on extending Ahmad Brook's contract.
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/
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/

That website also says that Chilo is one of the best guards in the league.