AUBURN — The reports out of camp Wednesday were that Carl Lawson was “still destroying everything in front of him rushing off the edge.”
Not that it will help any on the Plains this season: Lawson plays for the Cincinnati Bengals now, not the Auburn Tigers.
Between Lawson and current Green Bay Packer Montravious Adams, Auburn isn’t just replacing two dominant forces on the left side of its defensive line; it’s replacing 54 percent of its pass rush.
Lawson and Adams combined for 13½ sacks last season. Auburn’s returning defensive linemen had only 8½ between them. None had more than defensive tackle Andrew Williams’ three by themselves.
So there’s a good chance the Tigers won’t be making up for that lost production with one or even two players. Rather, it seems replacing their two departed stars will be a group effort.
“It’s not like an individual on the D-line; it’s our whole line,” defensive end Marlon Davidson said. “Nobody’s fighting. Nobody’s mad about playing time or reps or nothing like that. It’s just great that they’re getting along and working together.”
Auburn has no shortage of talent to fill in those gaps. It’s returning both starters on the right side of the defensive line in Davidson and Dontavius Russell.
Davidson — who is dealing with a reportedly minor knee injury — led all defensive linemen with 38 tackles last season to go along with six tackles for loss and 2½ sacks, and that was as a true freshman. Russell didn’t make a single play in the backfield, but he’s a two-year starter that…
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