Shaq Lawson is a better Shaq Lawson this year.
“I feel faster than I’ve ever been. I move quicker. I’m skinny,” Lawson said, looking down as if to confirm his weight. “I look like I’m too skinny.”
It’s no secret Lawson’s roster sport is far from secure. Normally close to the vest, Sean McDermott came out and said so Saturday.
“I’m not going to hide behind [the fact that] there’s a strong competition there between a few guys, including Trent Murphy, Shaq,” McDermott said. “It’s time for him to step up.”
McDermott has also made Lawson’s status clear to former first round pick. Lawson appreciates it.
“He let me know all the time,” Lawson said. “That’s one thing about him. He keep it real with you and let you know. As long as he keep it real and let me know, I’m good with that. It’s just making me work harder. I like it when they tell me that.”
McDermott noted that, after working together for a season, Lawson now knows better what is expected of him. It’s showing early in this camp.
“I think that’s the biggest thing, that he continues going forward what he started off with these first two days. He’s in a good place,” McDermott said.
Lawson said the defense is easier in year two. Not only does he understand his role, but he understands the role of everyone else on the defensive line.
Even though first round picks are rarely cut before year two, especially those that miss games their rookie season, Lawson says he felt like he was fighting for a spot on the roster last year. He’s comfortable doing it again this year.
“I know what I’ve got to do. I’ve been doing this all my life.”