Buffalo Bills’ second-year EDGE Shaq Lawson says he feels much more comfortable in Buffalo’s new 4-3 defense.
Shaq Lawson was a force to be reckoned with at Clemson and since he didn’t have a full season to show it in the NFL, he is ready to prove himself with the Buffalo Bills in 2017.
The days of Shaq chasing down ACC foes are long over, and the sophomore defensive end is in his first NFL offseason without the pressures of the Draft.
The defensive end was brought in by old leadership in Rex Ryan and Doug Whaley, to mainly play a rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme. This was at first foreign to Lawson, as he played in the 4-3 scheme with his hand in the dirt during his stint at Clemson.
Lawson was somewhat of a disappointment in his rookie season, just playing 10 games. In that time he acquired 7 combined tackles and 2 sacks. Not what you want from a 1st round draft pick (19th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft).
The New Regime
Enter Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott and the whole world turns upside down. One of the most prominent reasons an owner is hesitant to fire a coach is because with a new coach comes a new system. A new playbook, and a new schedule.
This can be tough for players to pick up, especially players in their waning years of NFL-hood.
Look at the flip-side of this and you have Shaq Lawson:
"“I was always an attack defensive end. You know, not having to stand up and drop into coverage.” Lawson said of the new defense. The Bills need a breakout year from Lawson across from RE Jerry Hughes.” – Rotoworld.com reports"
In Lawson’s 3-year tenure at Clemson he acquired a total of 20 sacks and 45.5 tackles for loss as a 4-3 defensive end. 12.5 of those sacks came in his junior season when he became a college standout.
Rookie Season Woes
I completely understand that Shaq Lawson was slowed in his freshman season due to a lingering shoulder injury.
It is also worth noting that the Clemson product underwent knee surgery following the season in January of this year. He claims he is 100% now.
It is also worth noting that one of his few sacks last year came against Tom Brady — shown in the picture at the top of this article.
The Buffalo Bills boast a potentially frightening defensive front if healthy. Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Jerry Hughes, and Lawson is one of the better not just in the AFC East, but in the AFC all together.
New Defensive Coordinator, Leslie Frazier, will have his work cut out for him on defense with the upcoming schedule for the 2017/18 season. Hopefully his defensive line makes it a little less strenuous.
How do you think Shaq Lawson will do this season? Leave your thoughts below!