Manny Lawson: Should His Weight Gain Be a Concern?

S LCorrespondent IMay 14, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 7:  Manny Lawson #99 of the San Francisco 49ers raises his arms during the game against the Arizona Cardinals on September 7, 2008 at Bill Walsh Field at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

In 49ers LB Manny Lawson's recent online blog entry, he mentioned his weight gain.

"After minicamp some of the reporters picked up on the fact that I've put on some weight. It wasn't a focus of mine and I don't think it will ever be a focus of mine. If it happens, it happens. Yes, I have gained a little bit of weight. But I won't gain so much to where it hinders me. Once I start to see my performance drop, I have to start slimming down. That might be tough for me, because I love food. I love sweets and I love snacks."

I usually don't think about weight gain for athletes. Sometimes, these things are added mass to the body—mainly muscle.

Now, for Lawson, it looks like his weight came courtesy of delicious food. And, then, he says that he will start to trim down if his performance slows.

My biggest problem with that statement is that Lawson will get in shape when he feels he isn't performing well. But wouldn't it just be better for him to get in shape so he doesn't run that risk? The training staff must have a say in this if he balloons up to 10 more pounds and isn't not running as fast.

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And for Lawson's size (6'5"), weight isn't much of a surprise. But when an athlete admits that it's because of snacking, I take that as a red flag. We've seen over the years that unconditioned athletes don't perform to their best potential.

Now, I'm not going to get extremely worried at this point for Lawson. He's still young and could work it off easily during training camp. But this isn't the best thing for him since he's trying to prove management right for not selecting a pass rusher in this past draft.


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