Marvin Lewis spoke to the media on Thursday, and what was meant to be a press conference about the Bengals upcoming game against the Steelers quickly turned into a Carl Lawson love fest, which started off with someone asking who was most responsible for drafting the phenom.
“I don’t know if anybody was the most responsible at all. Jacob (Bengals defensive line coach Jacob Burney) had spent time with him. Jim (Bengals linebackers coach Jim Haslett) had spent time with him there at Auburn. They both felt that he was a really good prospect.
“During the draft — in fact, that morning —Mike (Bengals president Mike Brown) asked me what my thoughts were (on Lawson), since he was still there. (He asked) if he would be a good addition for us, and if I saw him being able to handle the things that I was looking for. So, they all had an involvement.”
It seems like Brown reacted like we did to Lawson falling all the way to the fourth round. Mostly wondering how a player of his caliber has lasted this long, and if we should still take him. Lawson lasted all the way to the Bengals selection at 116 (the ninth pick in the fourth round).
Luckily Haslett and Burney were around to bang on the table to get Lawson to Cincinnati.
Still Lewis and the Bengals may have drafted him sooner, but the head coach didn’t interview with Lawson.
“We didn’t interview him ... Well, I can’t remember if we interviewed him with me or not. And I know, because to me, he’s different than he seems. I would’ve had a different impression of him coming in the door, had I spent time with him. I can’t remember whether he was part of the (interviews) for me or not.”
This isn’t unheard of obviously. There are so many draft prospects and you only have so much time. It is understandable that a guy slips through the cracks. Still Lewis admits if he met with him he would’ve had a different impression of Lawson joining the squad.
“To me, he seems more introverted — quiet and introverted. But he’s kind of the opposite of that. Once he gets going, you have to tone him down (laughs)... With his personality, he comes off as being quieter that he really is. He’s very studious, and he loves football, so that’s good.”
“He’s been what we expected. With his maturity, it’s been good. I’ve been pleased with that. He just has to stay onside (laughs).”
Lawson has been quite studious about football. He has quickly brought plenty of attention to his play by leading the entire rookie class with 7.5 sacks so far on the season. He is also the leading sacker for the Bengals with Geno Atkins at seven. It is safe to say he has put in the work with his technique, and Lewis agrees.
“[Mastering counter moves is] part of (his game). He has spent a lot of time in pass rush and studying pass rushing. That’s something he likes, and he takes to that. He studies those kinds of things, so it’s something that’s been part of his toolbox, which is good.”
It is easy to see that Lawson is putting in the work to become a big name for a long time in Cincinnati. What is scary for the rest of the NFL is he should only get better from here. Right now he is only 1.5 sacks away from tying the Bengals’ rookie sack record, which was set by Carlos Dunlap. That should be a pretty good indication of what is to come from Lawson.