Mike Zimmer Plans To Use Manny Lawson As A Pass Rusher More Often In 2012

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans runs the ball against Manny Lawson #99 of the Cincinnati Bengals during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

The most recent Bengals player to re-sign for the 2012 season is linebacker Manny Lawson. Lawson had a good season in 2011 as one of the starting outside linebackers next to Rey Maualuga and Thomas Howard. His re-signing means that he will likely once again start for the Bengals in 2012.

Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is excited for Lawson's return and plans to use him not only in coverage and to stop the run, but to put some extra pressure on the quarterback as well in 2012.

"Manny was a big part of our success last season, and I look for him to take his game to a higher level this year," said Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in a statement. "He moved to essentially a different position with us, playing outside in a 4-3 (scheme) after being in a 3-4, and he kept getting better as the year went on. He was very good against the run and in coverage, and this year I think we can take better advantage of him as a pass rusher."

Lawson finished the 2011 season with 1.5 sacks. He had a pass rushing score of 1.1 in 2011, according to Pro Football Focus, and as he gets more and more used to playing in a 4-3 defense, he should get better at rushing the passer from his position.

You can't have too many pass rushers and with Lawson joining Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins in the backfield, opposing quarterbacks could have fits.

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