Inside The Bills

Pettine: Lawson an underrated pass rusher

Posted by Chris Brown on March 14, 2013 – 12:19 pm

Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has not commented on any of the players he has on his side of the ball on Buffalo’s roster. He and Buffalo’s other coaches have understandably been reluctant to comment on what they think of their personnel, preferring to get on the practice field with them to see them up close before passing any judgment. The case is different however, with free agent acquisitions and after the Bills signed OLB Manny Lawson, Pettine commented.

Appearing on the Howard Simon Show on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Pettine provided his thoughts on just what kind of player they believe they have in Lawson.

“I think he brings a guy that has some explosive ability. He’s a tall, rangy guy, a set the edge type defender,” said Pettine. “And even though we’re not going to be true 3-4 or 4-3 as far as we’re doing it. In our multiple fronts that we run we do need some bigger edge players. So I do think he certainly fits that bill for us. I think he’s an underrated pass rusher. He didn’t get as much opportunity to do that in Cincinnati as much as he did in San Francisco. But he’s a guy we liked coming out (in the draft) years ago and just admire the way that he plays, the effort, the energy, the passion he plays with from afar. So when the opportunity came up for us to evaluate the outside linebackers in free agency he was at the top of the list.”

Lawson barely rushed the passer in his two years with Cincinnati, but it sounds like that is going to change in Buffalo. Even in his press conference Lawson indicated that after speaking with Pettine briefly that he believes he’ll have the opportunity to get after quarterbacks, much like he did earlier in his career.

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