Shaq Lawson’s rookie year started with a shoulder injury that kept him from working out with the Bills during training camp, the preseason and the first six games of the regular season, which meant he had a lot of catching up to do as he transitioned from college defensive end to linebacker in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme.
Lawson won’t have to worry about that “very difficult” transition this year. Ryan is out, Sean McDermott is in and Lawson is back to playing defensive end in a scheme he calls “the same thing I ran at Clemson.” As a result, Lawson is expecting to be back to the kind of play that made him a first-round pick in the first place.
“I’m going to live up to that,” Lawson said, via the Buffalo News. “That’s what they want me to do. I’m going to give them a reason why they drafted me here as a first-round pick. It’s time to bring what I had back when I was in college.”
The defense was a disappointment in Ryan’s two years as the head coach in Buffalo, which is a big reason why he’s no longer the head coach. Lawson isn’t the only defender who has talked about a higher comfort level in McDermott’s defense, something that the Bills hope will lead to the kind of results they expected when Ryan got to town.