Shaq Lawson

Shaq Lawson: Sean McDermott Lets Me Be Myself

Buffalo Bills DE Shaq Lawson is happy to be playing under head coach Sean McDermott for a second straight year.

Shaq Lawson is about to play with a team for two consecutive seasons for the first time since 2019. He began his career with the Bills, joining Buffalo in 2016 as a first round pick. Between 2020 and 2021, he played for the Dolphins, Texans and Jets.

Shaq Lawson is likely to play a rotational role in 2023, but he’s happy to do so under a coach who understands him.


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“I’m the dog. I’m bringing that juice every day,” Lawson said.

“Whatever the coach needs me to do, I’m going to bring it — set the edge, stop the run, take up blocks. That’s where I fit in.

“Last year, I tried to get back to being me, and coach (Sean) McDermott has let me be Shaq,” Lawson said. 

“He’s let me be loud, let me talk junk and stuff like that. I didn’t have that in the past. Once I got the confidence last year of him saying, ‘Be you, be yourself,’ that made me even more comfortable here. … I wasn’t a pro at the beginning of my career, and once McDermott got here [in 2017], he changed me and made me the pro I am today.”

Last season, Lawson produced a forced fumble and 3.5 sacks (fourth on the Bills) in six starts and 15 total appearances.


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However, with stiff competition in the defense, he knows he can’t get complacent. 

“You can’t keep your game the same, especially the older you get,” he said. “You have to separate yourself. I’m just finding ways to develop what I did last year and build on that and be more of a pass rusher.”

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