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stlrz d
06-04-2009, 11:43 AM
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-3 ... mmons.html (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-3-15/Scouts-Inc--on-Lawrence-Timmons.html)


Scouts Inc. on Lawrence Timmons
June 3, 2009 4:25 PM
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

When starting inside linebacker Larry Foote was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers, very few in Steeler Nation were worried. Some fans, in fact, were downright giddy.

The reason behind the excitement was 2007 first-round pick Lawrence Timmons, who has shown tremendous potential but could never earn enough playing time as the team's backup linebacker.

That will all change this season as Timmons will start in Foote's vacant spot in 2009. What can we expect from the dynamic third-year linebacker? We check in with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson to find out.

Matt, there is definitely a buzz in Pittsburgh surrounding Lawrence Timmons this year. What can we expect from him as a full-time starter?

Matt Williamson: Timmons is tremendous. He has it all, but the only thing I can question about him is I'm not sure what kind of "take-on" player he is in a 3-4 defense as an inside linebacker. On early downs, he has to come up and stone an offensive guard in the hole and shed him and make a tackle. I haven't seen enough of that to know if he can do it. I think he can, but I just haven't seen it. But he is extremely athletic, he's got great size and rare explosion. I can't say enough about him. I really think he's going to be a great player.

Because Timmons is more athletic than Foote, could that lead to more blitzing options for Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau?

Williamson: Absolutely. You will see him blitz a lot more than Foote did because Timmons is much better at it. Foote is a nice fit for the Detroit Lions as a stopgap guy, because he comes from a winning team. But as Steelers linebackers go he's not going to be missed, whereas Timmons could be special. LeBeau is going to have a lot of things at his disposal to do with Timmons whether it's blitzing or in coverage. He can open his hips and run down the deep middle if they want to play a Tampa 2 system, which is where [Steelers head coach] Mike Tomlin comes from, and I think he can stay with any tight end in the AFC North division for sure. So LeBeau is going to have a new toy.

With Timmons now entrenched as the starter, who are some of the fallback options at linebacker in the event that one of Pittsburgh's four starters goes down?

Williamson: Unless Bruce Davis steps up, their depth at linebacker is questionable now. A guy like Keyaron Fox is a decent player for a game or two, but he's really a special-teamer. There's nobody to really get excited about if and when any of their linebackers get hurt. At least Timmons is versatile enough to where he could go on the outside if someone can emerge on the inside like Fox.

Djfan
06-04-2009, 12:30 PM
I'm no expert, but Fox looked pretty good to me. Also Bailey looked pretty good. They both are always around the ball on special teams.

ikestops85
06-04-2009, 01:01 PM
I'm no expert, but Fox looked pretty good to me. Also Bailey looked pretty good. They both are always around the ball on special teams.

:Agree

and in a linebacker that is what you want -- somebody who can smell the ball and move towards it.

Oviedo
06-04-2009, 01:08 PM
Timmons will bring a legitimate threat of a inside blitz to the defense. This could help drive up the sack numbers even more than last year.

RuthlessBurgher
06-04-2009, 01:22 PM
Timmons will bring a legitimate threat of a inside blitz to the defense. This could help drive up the sack numbers even more than last year.

Just like the threat of a Chad Brown sack up the middle helped out Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene on the outside.

SteelCzar76
06-04-2009, 01:27 PM
Williamson: Unless Bruce Davis steps up, their depth at linebacker is questionable now. A guy like Keyaron Fox is a decent player for a game or two, but he's really a special-teamer. There's nobody to really get excited about if and when any of their linebackers get hurt. At least Timmons is versatile enough to where he could go on the outside if someone can emerge on the inside like Fox.

Versatile enough to move outside ? He was drafted as an undersized pursuit OLB in the first place. You know,... the position that he played with average productivity at in college and is best suited for in a Tampa 2 4-3 scheme in the pro's. :lol:

The question is,..is he "versatile" enough to play well every down for an entire season inside in a 3-4 ? Some people will do and say anything to put an illogical "Chipper Cheerleader" spin on all things Steeler related. :lol:

TallyStiller
06-04-2009, 03:13 PM
The 3 - 4 isn't the every down defense anyways. The nickel and dime packages both have 4 man fronts... and Timmons, to me, represents our system evolving along with the league. The NFL is becoming less and less "run to set up the pass". It's not even going to "throw to set up the run", but more to a "throw it early, often and always" approach to offense. Our run offense was decidely mediocre last year, Arizona's worse. New England's run offense has never been particularly special, nor has Indy's been the focus of their offense, even when Edgerrin James was there.

Larry Foote was a relic - a slow footed two down run stuffer... and not a very good tackler for a guy who was supposed to specialize in it. Timmons makes this defense a lot more versatile and explosive... a defense that stops the other team from getting yards is good, as our '07 team showed, but a defense that makes plays while it stops the other team is better. Last year's defense's improvement came largely from the fact that there were more sacks, more turnovers, more negative yardage plays to disrupt the other team and get their offense off the field. One of the biggest factors in that was getting Clark Haggans' old, slow @$$ off the field and Woodley on it.

Timmons will provide even more of those types of plays going forward - his speed, athleticism, and nose for the ball are all far superior to Foote's. And if he forces opposing offenses to pay attention to him, he creates more opportunities for Harrison, Woodley, Troy, et al. Not annointing the guy as a Hall of Famer or anything like that, but believe that the overall increase in athleticism can only help the defense. Foote won't be missed any more than Haggans was.

Oviedo
06-04-2009, 03:20 PM
The 3 - 4 isn't the every down defense anyways. The nickel and dime packages both have 4 man fronts... and Timmons, to me, represents our system evolving along with the league. The NFL is becoming less and less "run to set up the pass". It's not even going to "throw to set up the run", but more to a "throw it early, often and always" approach to offense. Our run offense was decidely mediocre last year, Arizona's worse. New England's run offense has never been particularly special, nor has Indy's been the focus of their offense, even when Edgerrin James was there.

Larry Foote was a relic - a slow footed two down run stuffer... and not a very good tackler for a guy who was supposed to specialize in it. Timmons makes this defense a lot more versatile and explosive... a defense that stops the other team from getting yards is good, as our '07 team showed, but a defense that makes plays while it stops the other team is better. Last year's defense's improvement came largely from the fact that there were more sacks, more turnovers, more negative yardage plays to disrupt the other team and get their offense off the field. One of the biggest factors in that was getting Clark Haggans' old, slow @$$ off the field and Woodley on it.

Timmons will provide even more of those types of plays going forward - his speed, athleticism, and nose for the ball are all far superior to Foote's. And if he forces opposing offenses to pay attention to him, he creates more opportunities for Harrison, Woodley, Troy, et al. Not annointing the guy as a Hall of Famer or anything like that, but believe that the overall increase in athleticism can only help the defense. Foote won't be missed any more than Haggans was.

Excellent thoughts and analysis.

Slapstick
06-04-2009, 04:23 PM
Versatile enough to move outside ? He was drafted as an undersized pursuit OLB in the first place. You know,... the position that he played with average productivity at in college and is best suited for in a Tampa 2 4-3 scheme in the pro's. :lol:

The question is,..is he "versatile" enough to play well every down for an entire season inside in a 3-4 ? Some people will do and say anything to put an illogical "Chipper Cheerleader" spin on all things Steeler related. :lol:

Some people will do and say anything to put an illogical "Debbie Downer" spin on all things Steeler related. :lol:

mshifko
06-04-2009, 10:01 PM
not trying to boast or anything, but i do remember getting into a ton of arguments defending timmons...havne't seen too many people try to argue with me now :D