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Both Aaron Wilson of National Football Post and Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star have cited league sources telling them that the Colts are one of four or five teams VERY interested in signing free agent linebacker Manny Lawson.
Now, this is interesting because Lawson was a disappointment as an outside rush linebacker in San Francisco's 3-4 scheme two years ago. However, when he signed with Cincinnati last offseason and worked as a SAM backer in their 4-3, he was one the Bengals' most productive defensive players. So, when Lawson was a SAM in, essentially, a Tampa-2 defense, he thrived. When he played in a 3-4, he struggled.
The Colts have ceased playing Tampa-2, and are shifting to a 3-4 under new coach Chuck Pagano. Knowing this, why do they want Lawson so badly?
Don't get me wrong. I like Lawson as a player. He's just not a pass rusher. Perhaps G.M. Ryan Grigson and Pagano think Lawson would work well as an inside backer in Indy's new 3-4. While I know many here think highly of Pat Angerer, it is my opinion that he does not fit with what the Colts want or need. Too small. Too injury prone. Can't cover anyone. Angerer is indeed a tackling machine, and he's a tough guy, but his talents are best suited for a Tampa-2 scheme, not a 3-4.
Lawson is 6'4, 250 pounds. That's four inches and twenty pounds bigger than Angerer. Lawson is also reportedly pretty good in pass coverage as well.
It will be interesting to see if the Colts land Lawson. If they do, it either means the end of Angerer, Kavell Conner, or Dwight Freeney in Indianapolis. As of right now, Freeney is considered the Terrell Suggs-style rush linebacker in Indy's new 3-4 scheme, which is what Lawson was supposed to be in SF.