Kenny Lawler Sr., father of Cal’s prolific junior wideout, is proud of his son but says opponents are going about defending him all wrong.
Kenny Sr., who played cornerback at Oregon 35 years ago, is now defensive coordinator at San Bernardino Valley JC.
“I’m overjoyed for him. I’m just a proud father,” Lawler’s dad said. “He was raised to do what he’s doing right now. He’s been doing it since he was 4 years old.
“It’s his passion and he’s worked so hard to get to where he is right now. A lot of long hours of sweat and pain have gone into it. I’m not surprised. I’ve been watching him all his life, do what he’s doing. He’s just doing it in front of the world now.”
Lawler has caught five touchdowns in Cal’s first three games and has become particularly adept at the back-shoulder fade in the end zone, where he uses his 6-foot-3 frame to shield himself from the defender while Jared Goff lofts a soft pass to his outside shoulder.
Kenny Lawler Sr., isn’t trying to undermine the Goff-to-Lawler connection, but is mystified by how opponents play it.
“I’m a defensive coordinator at the community college level and every time I see it I don’t know why teams don’t defend it better,” Lawler Sr. said. “The corner is not going to line up inside of him. The corner is going to play the back-shoulder fade. I’d put a safety over the top so if he runs a post or runs a slant there’s a safety sitting there.
“I’m going to take away the back-shoulder fade. Beat me on something else.”
Goff said defenses must pick their poison, and that Lawler is completely adept at patterns crossing the middle of the end zone.