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49ers' Lawson was "special" all right

SEATTLE ? Linebacker Manny Lawson, a first-round pick in 2006, turned into a very high-profile special-teams player on Sunday.

Because the 49ers employed a defense against the Seattle Seahawks that consisted of at least five defensive backs, Lawson did not get onto the field for one snap of defense.

Instead, he took part all special-teams plays in the 49ers? 33-30 overtime victory.

?When we came in on Wednesday, I was told that the package we?d be in that I wasn?t going to see much time on defense,? Lawson said. ?So I said, ?Put me on every special teams there is,? and that?s what they did.?

Lawson was the team?s special-teams captain for the game.

He made an impact in that area, too. Lawson made two tackles on special team and also blocked a punt. However, something strange happened after his blocked punt. The Seahawks? Jordan Babineaux picked it up and advanced it 24 yards for a first down.

?That?s a first for me,? said Lawson, who blocked seven kicks in his career at North Carolina State. ?I turned around and saw someone with other color jersey running with the ball. ?Knowing I was going to be playing a lot of special teams, I just wanted to make as many plays as I can to help my team out.?

Lawson started last week?s game at outside linebacker and was credited with six tackles in a 23-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

In recent seasons, the 49ers have used five defensive backs as part of their every-down defense against the Seahawks. Even with Seahawks? depleted receiving corps, coach Mike Nolan said it wasn?t going to change what either team was trying to accomplish.

?Seattle?s got an outstanding offensive scheme,? Nolan said. ?It would be foolish for them to change and try to go to something else because of some injuries. What I thought they did do effectively was use their young tight end (John Carlson) several times over the middle. We had had him covered, but he still did a very good job.?


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