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fordfixer
05-03-2009, 05:22 PM
Timmons ready to step in

http://www.timesonline.com/articles/200 ... 488201.txt (http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2009/05/02/sports/steelers/doc49fd19815c2c9426488201.txt)

By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Sunday, May 3, 2009 12:15 AM EDT
PITTSBURGH — The torch has been passed. The Lawrence Timmons era is under way.

The transition at right inside linebacker might not be official until the Steelers’ first game of the season. But this weekend at minicamp, Timmons moved into the slot manned the past five seasons by Larry Foote.

He’s there to say.

A soft-spoken young man off the field, Timmons accepted his new responsibility with a humble determination.

“I just have to take care of my tasks and do the best I can,” he said. “I’m just playing football. It’s just football.”

Although Foote technically remains on the roster, he’s history. He’s back in his hometown of Detroit, constantly phoning his agent about a new place of employment. If the Steelers can’t swing a trade, Foote will likely be released.

In his own quiet way, Timmons is excited that he’s the new starter. He’s just wishes it wouldn’t have to come with the Steelers and Foote involved in a messy divorce.

“He’s (like) family. I’ve got nothing but love for the guy,” Timmons said. “Every day since I’ve been here, he’s always helped me with things. I hope the best for him and his family.”

With Timmons running with the first-team defense, the Steelers’ top two picks of the 2007 NFL Draft are now starters.

LaMarr Woodley, the second-round pick two years ago, moved into the starting lineup last year. He responded with a monster season. Among Woodley’s highlights were 11.5 sacks during the regular season and six more during the playoffs, including two in the Super Bowl.

Timmons, 15th overall pick of the ’07 draft, played a lot last year in obvious passing situations. Foote was clearly the better run stopper, while Timmons was clearly better rushing the passer and dropping back into coverage,

He was fourth on the team in sacks last year with five. He also had an 89-yard interception return that was the 10th longest in the league.

And he’ll only be 23 on May 14. He’ll be one of the NFL’s youngest starting linebackers this year.

If Timmons can hold his own against the run, he should add to the lineage of star linebackers who’s played for the Steelers during the Super Bowl era.

“I won’t have any problems (defending the run),” he said. “I’m just trying to get better. I think I have to get better at everything.”

“I’m looking forward to playing with L.T.,” said left inside linebacker James Farrior. “Foote was one of my best friends on the team. We’ve been playing together for the last five years, so I’ll definitely miss him and all the things he brought to the table.

“But Lawrence is a good linebacker. He’s going to be one of the real good ones once he gets his stuff down. He’s one of the best athletes on the team.”

Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com.

Eddie Spaghetti
05-03-2009, 06:00 PM
i'm really glad farrior is going to be there to tutor timmons.

what a great role model.