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Aaron Rodgers feels Manny Lawson's power
Free-agent Linebacker Manny Lawson would have warmed right up to Clay Mathews and friends.
The former San Francisco 49er inked a 1-year/$3million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason.
Meanwhile, the Packers said farewell to linebackers Nick Barnett and Brady Poppinga, relying on Frank Zombo and Erik Walden to line up opposite Clay Mathews, but not expecting much from either.
Lawson, on the other hand, is only 27 years old. It could be argued that this former first rounder's potential has yet to even be fully realized.
He boasts a freakishly unique combination of speed, size and athleticism that an intelligent D-coordinator—(cough) Dom Capers (cough)—might finally be able to maximize—or, at the very least, utilize effectively.
Lawson is also already acclimated to playing OLB in the 3-4 defense that was employed in San Francisco. Although, what he would not find familiar would be playing alongside the likes of Mathews, Hawk and the blossoming Desmond Bishop, in addition to a couple of savage souls up front.
Such talented surroundings could have unfettered Lawson to finally stretch his wings that once made scouts salivate.
Lawson, so far, has been a solid, all-around NFL player, but hasn't stood out the way he was expected to...yet.
However, advanced statistics suggest that Lawson has been a top five OLB pass-rusher in terms of Pass Rushing Productivity (PRP), according to this algorithm detailed below from profootballfocus.com ...
"Pass Rushing Productivity (PRP) is [...] the result of how much pressure a pass rusher gets, and how many snaps it takes him to get it:
First, we total what we refer to as 'QB Disruption Points,' which values sacks over hits and pressures:
QB Disruption Points = Sacks + Hits (0.75) + Pressures (0.75)
We arrived at that balance after a general audit of our grades and tracking over the past three seasons, and found that hits and pressures represent about 75 percent of the value of sacks.
Then, to arrive at a score that measures productivity per rush, its simple:
Pass-Rushing Productivity = QB Disruptions Points / Number of Pass Rushes x 100."
To help translate, despite the limited amount of chances Lawson was given to feast upon quarterbacks, he was supremely efficient when he did. In fact, as the table below illustrates, he was among the top five at his position in doing so ...
|Team ||Position ||Pass Rushes ||PRP
|KC ||3-4 OLB ||524 ||14.41
|2 || |
|PIT ||3-4 OLB ||427 ||12.65
|3 ||DeMarcus Ware ||DAL ||3-4 OLB ||509 ||12.38
|4 ||Manny Lawson ||SF ||3-4 OLB ||218 ||12.04
|5 ||Cameron Wake ||MIA ||3-4 OLB ||445 ||12.02
*statistics taken from 2010 regular season
But, alas, the Packers balked. Meanwhile, Lawson has excelled for the Bengals so far, registering two and 1/2 sacks while forcing a fumble this preseason.