Originally posted by The49erfan:
Originally posted by brizznasty:
And now for Manny Lawson's sack total this year.......
Manny Lawson lack of success as a pass-rusher has more to do with how Nolan taught him and how he used him on the field. Mike Nolan had Manny Lawson focusing on coverage skills, since after all he was converting from DE to OLB and covering TE's, RB's & FB's out of the backfield is a big part of an OLB in a 3-4's job!
People who complain about his so-called lack of pass rushing skills need to realize that Manny Lawson wasn't drafted to be an every down pass-rusher, it was assumed that that's why he was drafted. But Nolan saw him as a part-time pass-rusher/part-time DB which in fact equals OLB in most 3-4 schemes!
Keep in mind, that Nolan ran a hybrid 3-4 defense which had no real structure or foundation. He said that he wanted the defense to adapt and be able adjust to the opposing team's offense on the fly instead of concentrating on making his defense dictate to them what they could run play wise! That's where that bend-but-don't break mind-set came into to play and the players weren't really held accountable when they made mistakes nor taught how to correct said mistake!
Just take into account what Adam Snyder has been doing since last year once he started playing OG exclusively! That makes a huge difference in a player's development, but I guess that's lost on most fans!
That's why players never knew where they were supposed to line-up any given play lead to a lack of communication and continuity. There are articles that state how Nolan never harped on the little details like Harbaugh & Co. do! It was said that they would work on play 2-3 times and whether or not it was executed properly didn't matter, they would move on to something else. In that scenario a team has no plays that they can hang their hat on because there's no one play that they know inside/out and can execute to near perfection because they don't practice any particular play that way!
I respectfully disagree. I was a fan of Manny Lawson from the day we drafted him and always held out hope that he was going to "get it" at some point. Essentially, your argument is that Nolan ruined him with practicing coverage and playing a hybrid 3-4. Both of those were excuses fans bought into to rationalize the fact that they liked Manny. The truth is he did many things well:
- He covered VERY well for a converted DE. He had the speed to stay with most skill players and the length to make plays on the ball or simply make the QB look elsewhere.
- He controlled the edge in the run game. Runs to the outside were easily swallowed up. Manny had a reputation as soft but he was a fantastic run stuffer. Just look at how much better the Bengals have gotten against the run.
- He is an intelligent football player and seemed to always be in the right position which is crucial for young players. (He was young when we got him!)
Now, the reason he was mocked so mercilessly on this board is that he was drafted to be an OLB in the 3-4 which means that most of the pass rush needed to come from that position. Yes, OLBs were required to cover and run stuff, but the defensive scheme is build around three DTs that take up blockers so the OLB can speed around the edge and pressure the QB. Manny could never do this. Time and time again you would see him go up against a LT, a TE, or a RB one-on-one and get shut down. Even when he lead the team in sacks it was more an insult to the other players that could not surpass his mediocre numbers. I wish him luck but he is better off in a 4-3 system.