Bengals News

Bengals Do Not Plan to Increase Carl Lawson’s Role

jlane2
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive end Carl Lawson #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrate after a 31-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive end Carl Lawson #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrate after a 31-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Carl Lawson put up 8.5 sacks his rookie year, but the Bengals still do not wan to use him on a majority of snaps this season.

Carl Lawson is expected to be one of the Bengals’ biggest contributors in his second season. After an excellent rookie season, Lawson has seemingly improved this offseason. Every report coming out of camp so far has gushed about Lawson just terrorizing the Bengals’ offensive linemen in scrimmages. Lawson is ready to explode in his sophomore season.

The Bengals, however, are planning on keeping Lawson’s snap percentage similar to last season. NBC Sports reported that the team wants to maximize Lawson’s production by not playing him a high number of snaps each game. This report certainly evoked some frustration from Bengals fans, including myself, who obviously recognize Lawson’s immense talent.

In fairness to the team, the depth along the defensive line allows the Bengals to rotate their players without seeing a significant drop-off in production. Aside from Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, Jordan Willis, and Sam Hubbard make up a strong defensive end group. Especially with guys like Willis – from the same class as Lawson – they have more positional size to defend the run.

Still, keeping his role essentially the same is a waste of talent. Lawson showed what he could do with limited exposure in his rookie year, so there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t produce more with more work. After 8.5 sacks last season, double digit sacks is well within the range of outcomes for Lawson this year as a pass rusher.

The biggest concern with Lawson’s game is his ability to stop the run, but Lawson has improved that skill too. He bulked up considerably in the offseason, so much so that the Bengals moved him to defensive end. Lawson has enough positional size while still maintaining a massive advantage as an edge rusher to instill fear in defenses on any down.

Next. Jordan Evans' Role Next Year. dark

The Bengals played Lawson on 42% of snaps last season. If he stays under 50% again this year, it will be a travesty. Lawson is obviously one of the most talented players on this entire team – he should get a majority of the snaps at defensive end. No matter how much the Bengals play him, though, he will produce big numbers.

facebooktwitterreddit