Thursday, December 05, 2013 8:22 AM
Photo courtesy of Ed Sheahin. Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Lawrence Sidbury Jr., a Prince George's County native, holds off Washington Redskins' offense Sunday.
Published on: Friday, October 12, 2012
By Brandy L. Simms
Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Lawrence Sidbury Jr. was all smiles Sunday following his team’s 24-17 victory over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.
Sidbury, a Prince George’s County product who once starred at Oxon Hill High, basked in the glory of Atlanta’s historic win.
The victory helped the Falcons remain unbeaten and marked the team’s first 5-0 start in franchise history. Sidbury, 26, downplayed the team’s milestone victory.
“The record is what it is,” said Sidbury, a fourth round draft pick out of Richmond in 2009, “but we come out and just try to win every week and that’s our goal. We take it game by game. We’re not really worried about the 5-0 mark. We try to come out each week, improve and get better and try to win.”
More importantly, Sidbury’s teammates were able to help secure a homecoming victory for the Cheltenham native.
“Getting a win back at home was big,” he added, “and like I said I would have had to hear from everyone — all my friends and family about us losing to the Redskins, so now I’ve got a little juice when I come back.”
Sidbury was a two-way standout at Oxon Hill during his high school days, earning All-State honors in his senior campaign.
“He was our best lineman on both sides of the ball,” recalled former Oxon Hill head coach Randolph Warren, who noted that Sidbury played guard, defensive tackle and noseguard as a senior. “He got double-teamed a lot in high school.”
Sidbury was recruited by several Division I-AA college programs but opted for Richmond over James Madison and William & Mary.
In 2008, Sidbury helped lead the Spiders to a national championship during his senior campaign. He registered 56 tackles including 26 solo stops. He also amassed 20 tackles for losses totaling 80 yards and recorded 11.5 quarterback sacks.
He earned first-team All-CAA honors and participated in the 2009 Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game. However, the athletic defensive end turned heads at the NFL Combine that year when he ran an eye-popping 4.57-second 40-yard dash, nearly unheard of by someone at his position.
“He ran a phenomenal 40 time,” said Warren, now an assistant coach at Greenbelt’s Eleanor Roosevelt High. “He always had very good strength.”
Nowadays, Sidbury competes mainly on the Falcons’ special teams and sees time as a back-up defensive lineman. He is proud to be a part of a top-flight NFL organization that is on the rise.
“I think this team can go wherever we want it to go,” Sidbury said. “I’m not going to set the bar anywhere. We’re a determined team. We’re a humble team, focused and we want to go out and just improve and make a mark this year.”