Sometime's its just healthy to vent. And i believe everyone is entitled to a angry venting post from time to time. So i guess it's my turn. Some of you might already know my opinions about Mr Lawson, as i have commented somewhat feverishly about this guy. He is one of the most intriguing FA OLB on the market right now. And it seems to be a consensus among many in the Rams community over wanting to acquire his talents, this will be my last attempt to nip this player man crush in the bud(though it is way past it's early stages).
Always start with the adulation, and boy is there a lot of great things to be said about this guy. Lawson was drafted 22nd overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the 49ers, their he played 5 seasons before being let go then picked up for a 1 year(3 mil) deal with the Bengals. His pre-draft measurable's were outstanding, listed at 6'5'' and 241 lbs he ran a 4.43 40 with a 40'' vertical and showed great intelligence with a 43 Wonderlic score. Lawson is #60 on PFT top 100 FA's of 2012. And more recently #3 on PFT top ten most intriguing FA's left on the market, goes on to say Lawson is a freak athlete who can set the edge against the run as well as an always effective pass coverage OLB. Its seems the only disappointment has been his pass rushing abilities, as he has only registered 16 sacks in 6 seasons. even PFT notes a little confusion in why he is not There just isnt alot of bad things to say about this guy,so to sum it up he's big, strong, fast, smart, can jump, a good run stopper, and great in pass coverage.....TO BAD NONE OF THIS SEEM'S TO MANIFEST ON THE FIELD.
So now its time for the more irritated, non-bais(haha) , slightly more opinionated section of the post. With all the great adulation, why is this guy still available, and not considered top tier anymore. Even PFT note's a little confusion to why he is not generating more interest. Other questions i might ask are, why have the Bengals not even made an effort to resign him. Why after playing so long can i not find an actual NFL highlight video of this guy? Isn't it interesting that after 5 years of starting in San Fran, the year he leaves their defense suddenly goes over the top. Not saying that directly related to him, just interesting. Its been over a week and STL fan's(as well as other Linebacker needy team fans) are banging their head to why we/they haven't made a move for him yet. Part of the answer is simple and somewhat insultingly obvious, were not coaches, and we don't see what coaching staff's are forced to see and evaluate in terms of a players abilities and on-the-field performance. Lawson's performance is actually well noted among 49ers and Bengals community, and is most commonly perceived as a lack of drive.This leads to the other part of the answer that is less obvious and becomes much more overlooked and undervalued by almost everyone(fans, GM's , and even coaches) and that is the players heart. You can have all the physical and mental talent in the world but it means nothing if your heart isn't in the game, you cant teach it and you cant force a player to care.
Yep, thats right ill say it again Heart, i don't mean medically speaking an apple a day or a bowl of cheerios to better promote a healthy ticker. You mean like that one kids power in the early 90's cartoon Captain Planet? Yeah a little more like that, similarly in by which i felt sorry for him because all the other planeteers had an real element(water,wind,earth,and fire) for a power, but in reality it was something that they/we all needed. Good example of something that i overlooked as a child, and we start to overlook as adults(p.s. recycle more). By heart i mean in terms of a players effort, determination, and drive to play the game. Heart is so easily overlooked, undervalued, and overshadowed by the more physical and athletic aspect of a players game, especially now more than ever. If you need a modern day football example look up "no heart" in the NFL encyclopedia and you'll see a picture of the 100 million dollar man Albert Haynesworth.
So in conclusion my overall negative opinion for this player can best be summed up to a very important and yet elusive characteristic. As fans or more simply, people who love to watch the game, we have the ability to hope and believe in the best of senarios even when odds are stacked against us. Much different is the view of coaches and trainers who can view the game in its raw actuality. However both sides can see and understand the pain of watching a player who doesn't give their all, a player that gives up, or simply just doesn't have his heart in the game.
P.S. This is the best video i could find of Manny Lawson, and it wasnt really a highlight video, but has clips from his best season in 2009.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtZkfroSfRI . Not exactly an exciting set of clips , most noteable should be his 1 on 1 struggling against our former TE Randy McMicheal(twice) before making the play. It seems teams are finally starting to take a look at him now, Browns, Raiders,Colts, and now the Packers. I dont discredit any team that would find him intriguing, but to say whether he will be effective is another question. Nothing would make me more happy than him landing on the Packers, and dropping their defensive cohesion down a notch.
Thanks for reading.