By Jason Sarney
The Miami Dolphins are bringing in more defensive help to bolster their defensive line, and edge rusher Shaq Lawson is the former 1st round pick that now leaves a rival in the Buffalo Bills to help that unit.
Lawson, who is a draft-class mate of fellow recent Miami acquisition Emmanuel Ogbah in 2016, was the 16th overall pick out of Clemson. This means he has Dolphins-ties, of course to another defensive lineman with collegiate Tiger stripes, non-other than Christian Wilkins.
Lawson was also a former roommate at Hargrave Military Academy with Miami defensive back Cordrea Tankersley, who of course, attended Clemson as well.
Surely a background at Hargrave, as well as familiarity with numerous new teammates will make Lawson a locker-room voice and field general, so-to-speak.
When asked about that aspect of his game, being leadership and his overall mindset on his teammates Lawson said, “they are going to see that from day one when I come in the building. I’m very competitive, always want to win. “I feel like I’ve never had a bad day in the locker room.”
There is no reason not to believe it, and any former rival coming aboard a new unit will undoubtedly be a valuable resource in future battles. Specifically, on the cold, enemy whatever-turf of Buffalo.
While in Buffalo for four seasons, his sack numbers were mortal, as he averaged about four a year to total 16.5 on his career. In a theme similar to Miami fans recently, there has been a lack of a formidable pass-rush since the healthy days of Cameron Wake, and even the we-hardly-knew-you days of Oliver Vernon, not to mention Jason Taylor.
Lawson will help “set the edge,” which he says is a call to duty more important than it sounds. Lawson said, "I take pride in that. You don’t want to get out of your gap.”
To me, it sounds like Lawson is the type of guy that would lay on a wire for a teammate so he could cross the line of scrimmage and get to the quarterback without any self-fanfare.
Lawson is a high-energy, highly competitive leader, which comes to no surprise to those tracking what type of person and player is coveted by the defensive-minded head coach of the Dolphins Brian Flores.
It's players like Lawson, who will take their job as seriously as can be, to achieve a common team goal that are being added to this team.
This is becoming a pattern that has been developing for a year in Miami, and the acquisition of Lawson is proof positive that there is a new Sheriff in town in Flores that Miami fans haven’t been used to in decades. And apparently, he knows exactly what type of soldier he is looking to deploy on his field of battle.