Carl Lawson: Rodgers is easier to sack than most QBs
Aaron Rodgers is coming off a 49-sack year where he was hindered by a bum leg, his first line was trashed for stretches, and the offense as a whole was out of whack before and after canning Mike McCarthy.
In 2017, Rodgers was on speed for 50-plus sacks despite playing just seven games (22).
Cincinnati Bengals edge rusher Carl Lawson took Rodgers down 2.5 times in Week 3 of 2017, a six-sack day for the defense. The defensive end told NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Monday that Rodgers is actually simpler to sack than some other QBs despite his mobility because he’s always looking for the big play.
“Honestly, I think that it’s easier to sack Aaron Rodgers than most quarterbacks,” Lawson explained. “There, and he pats the chunk. At the same time, sacking him don’t mean nothing if you don’t do it for four quarters. You know, he came back against us.
“So, I mean, he is a simpler quarterback for me to sack personally, because he sits there, and he likely gets eight to 10 yards in the pocket. He has a fantastic left tackle in (David Bakhtiari). So, he just sits there he waits, getting that read. When he gets sacked, he doesn’t get flustered. I only saw him becoming frustrated maybe 1 time when I did bag him, which had been the next and a half sofa that they took off (negated by a penalty)…”
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Rodgers gunning for the big play was one gripe of the Packers QB the last few seasons as the team didn’t live up to expectations. Accepting sacks isn’t exactly a new thing for Rodgers, who has 412 sacks in 14 seasons. Counting just his 11 seasons as a rookie, Rodgers was sacked 403 times (36.6 per season), including two seasons of 50-plus sacks and two more above the 45-sack mark. Packers fans are used to seeing QBs sacked through the years, with Brett Favre holding the all-time listing of 525.
For years, the Packers were ready to trade the sacks for the big plays. When Rodgers was divebombing guards, the tradeoff worked excellent, along with the dab plays defeated the negative ones as Lawson noted, the Bengals lost to Green Bay in 2017 despite six sacks. In a discombobulated offense, like we saw for long stretches last season, the sacks stung.
With the change from McCarthy to brand new coach Matt LaFleur, Green Bay is expecting a more varied offense will consistently scheme faster options for Rodgers. How this plays out will probably be one of the most interesting subplots to the 2019 NFL campaign.
If Rodgers is easier to sack, which QBs are harder to shoot down?
“The roughest to sack? Those young quarterbacks that offensive coordinators like to protect,” Lawson said. “Perhaps a (Mitchell) Trubisky, or someone like this. The men that sit maybe like five (measures ), get the quick reads. The guys who are like — I’m not calling them not elite or nothing like that — but the guys that sort of have more aid in their offense than opposed to (guys like Rodgers).
“And Tom Brady. I have not sacked him or played against him, I have only watched him. I watched the movie and like’Oh, he is getting out that like 1.9, 2 (seconds).'”
To recap: QBs that grip on the ball are easier to bag. Ones that make it out fast are harder to take down.
Sounds about correct.