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fordfixer
08-25-2010, 01:39 AM
August 24, 2010
Steelers waiting for Timmons to reach potential

By ALAN ROBINSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
http://tribune-democrat.com/prosports/x ... -potential (http://tribune-democrat.com/prosports/x1489515325/Steelers-waiting-for-Timmons-to-reach-potential)

PITTSBURGH — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is finding it difficult to be patient with Lawrence Timmons.

Tomlin calls the inside linebacker “ridiculously talented,” though Timmons has yet to have the breakout season expected before now of the No. 15 pick in the 2007 draft.

Timmons’ teammates are convinced the former Florida State star has more speed, power and drive to the football than any player on the Steelers’ defense other than safety Troy Polamalu.

Still, any discussion about Timmons often begins with what he hasn’t done in his three seasons – make the Pro Bowl.

He hasn’t yet reached an elite level. He’s not yet a complete player. He’s not yet ready to take over from James Farrior the job of running the defense.

“It’s time,” Tomlin said.

“Lawrence has been around here long enough.”

Long enough to win a Super Bowl. However, it is another 2007 draft pick – second-rounder LaMarr Woodley – who’s taken on a bigger role in what was the NFL’s top-ranked defense two seasons ago. Woodley led the Steelers with 131?2 sacks while making the Pro Bowl last season and had 111?2 sacks in 2007. Timmons had seven sacks last season and five as a part-time player in 2008.

Inside linebackers generally don’t accumulate sacks in a 3-4 defense like outside linebackers.

Regardless, the Steelers believe there’s a lot more in the 6-foot-1, 244-pound Timmons that has yet to be seen during games.

They see it in practices and at training camp, but not always on Sundays.

“He has to have a big year in order for us to be successful,” linebackers coach Keith Butler said. “And I think he will, because he feels more comfortable. If he stays healthy, then he will develop the way that we have envisioned that he’ll develop. And he’ll be a factor.”

Timmons missed two games last season with a hamstring injury that lingered for most of the first half of the season and hampered his production. He also was bothered by injuries to both ankles.

Farrior, who plays alongside Timmons, also believes there’s a lot more to come starting with the Sept. 12 opener against Atlanta. Before then, the Steelers close the preseason with games Sunday at Denver and Sept. 2 against Carolina.

“He’s a tremendous athlete and a good kid, but I feel like he’s still learning,” Farrior said. “We really haven’t seen everything he has to give. The injuries, I think, have held him back. They weren’t real bad, but they were nagging. I believe he’s only scratched the surface so far. There’s a lot more we can see from Lawrence.”

Timmons hears such talk, and it’s difficult to argue he’s reached his potential when he himself knows he hasn’t.

“I’m definitely growing up now, and I know what to do and how to play the game,” Timmons said. “It’s time for me to elevate my play to the next level, and I’m working very hard to get there. I want to be the guy to make the sacks and stop the big run plays in the backfield.”

Perhaps to motivate Timmons, perhaps to guard against injuries to the 35-year-old Farrior, the Steelers brought back former starting linebacker Larry Foote this season. Foote signed with Detroit a year ago because he knew the Steelers were ready to make Timmons a starter.

The Steelers finished No. 5 overall in defense last year, but they didn’t play to the level of the 2008 team that led the league in overall defense, rushing defense and allowed the fewest points in the league while winning the Super Bowl. Farrior had perhaps his worst season since joining the Steelers in 2002.

“When they brought Larry in, I took it like they wanted to make us better. You know that Larry works hard and is a tough guy, and that’s what we need,” Timmons said.

That and a Timmons who plays to his full ability.

“If he’s healthy, he’s hard to handle,” Butler said.

Oviedo
08-25-2010, 08:02 AM
Well given that last season he was like third or fourth on the team in tackles, third in sacks (behind two Pro Bowl players), second in forced fumbles I would guess he has reached at least some of his potential. The problem is that the expectation for Timmons are so unrealistic he will always carry the burden of never reaching his "potential"

papillon
08-25-2010, 08:06 AM
Well given that last season he was like third or fourth on the team in tackles, third in sacks (behind two Pro Bowl players), second in forced fumbles I would guess he has reached at least some of his potential. The problem is that the expectation for Timmons are so unrealistic he will always carry the burden of never reaching his "potential"

It appears even his coach may have expectations higher than what Timmons is capable of achieving.

Pappy

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-25-2010, 08:09 AM
I think the success of our D this year depends more on Foote, Farrior, and Hampton than on Timmons.

If they are successful (meaning, not always being 1 step too late), and if everyone stays healthy, Timmons can play at exactly the same level he did last year, and we will by far and away be the #1 D next season, IMO. :Boobs :tt1 :Cheers :tt2

Oviedo
08-25-2010, 08:24 AM
I do expect Timmons to have double digit sacks (along with Woodley and Harrison). IMO it would be great if he could grab a few INTs to go along with that. He is by far the best coverage LB we have.

ikestops85
08-25-2010, 09:53 AM
Isn't the kid only 23 or 24 years old? I think he is a damn good linebacker already. Not great but good. People need to stop talking about his potential and let the guy play. He will get there. It takes time and maturity but I see Timmons a fixture on our D for many years to come ... unless Sly makes him expendable :stirpot

Oviedo
08-25-2010, 10:00 AM
Isn't the kid only 23 or 24 years old? I think he is a damn good linebacker already. Not great but good. People need to stop talking about his potential and let the guy play. He will get there. It takes time and maturity but I see Timmons a fixture on our D for many years to come ... unless Sly makes him expendable :stirpot

I think he is only 24 this season with three years in the league already. IMO he will just get better and better.

aggiebones
08-25-2010, 08:15 PM
Why is it a surprise that he hasn't become a super star yet?
We are waiting on lots of guy to reach their full potential. That doesn't normally happen in 3 years. It will come.
This article is weird to me. Talking about how our defense wasn't as good last year.
Well, duh, we were missing to of its best couple players.
I guess its something to talk about. But the whole story seems like he wrote it months ago and was waiting til he had a deadline at the same time as a good happy hour.

feltdizz
08-26-2010, 10:24 AM
Here we go again... while it's normal to want a player to keep getting better the expectations and disregard for Timmons accomplishments thus far is comical.

3rd in sacks behind 2 Pro Bowlers... his numbers are impressive and people are saying if this is all we get from Timmons he is considered a bust or a wasted draft pick.

If this is the best Timmons is for the next 5 years I'll take it. People need to remember that the game of football has an ebb and flow to it. Just because his sacks and forced fumbles haven't happened in the last minute of a game doesn't mean they aren't great plays.

phillyesq
08-26-2010, 11:21 AM
Here we go again... while it's normal to want a player to keep getting better the expectations and disregard for Timmons accomplishments thus far is comical.

3rd in sacks behind 2 Pro Bowlers... his numbers are impressive and people are saying if this is all we get from Timmons he is considered a bust or a wasted draft pick.

If this is the best Timmons is for the next 5 years I'll take it. People need to remember that the game of football has an ebb and flow to it. Just because his sacks and forced fumbles haven't happened in the last minute of a game doesn't mean they aren't great plays.

How many of his sacks came against good competition? On how many was he blocked? More often than not, the scheme created a free run for Timmons to the QB.

When you look at a LB taken after Timmons (Jon Beason) already achieving All-Pro status, it is absolutely fair to be disappointed with what Timmons has done to date.

He has athleticism, upside, potential, etc., but I'd like to see him put it together. He hasn't yet.

steelblood
08-26-2010, 11:24 AM
Here we go again... while it's normal to want a player to keep getting better the expectations and disregard for Timmons accomplishments thus far is comical.

3rd in sacks behind 2 Pro Bowlers... his numbers are impressive and people are saying if this is all we get from Timmons he is considered a bust or a wasted draft pick.

If this is the best Timmons is for the next 5 years I'll take it. People need to remember that the game of football has an ebb and flow to it. Just because his sacks and forced fumbles haven't happened in the last minute of a game doesn't mean they aren't great plays.

How many of his sacks came against good competition? On how many was he blocked? More often than not, the scheme created a free run for Timmons to the QB.

When you look at a LB taken after Timmons (Jon Beason) already achieving All-Pro status, it is absolutely fair to be disappointed with what Timmons has done to date.

He has athleticism, upside, potential, etc., but I'd like to see him put it together. He hasn't yet.

Some good points. Timmons is probably a better athlete, but Beason seems to have great football intelligence and takes on the run well.

feltdizz
08-26-2010, 11:55 AM
Here we go again... while it's normal to want a player to keep getting better the expectations and disregard for Timmons accomplishments thus far is comical.

3rd in sacks behind 2 Pro Bowlers... his numbers are impressive and people are saying if this is all we get from Timmons he is considered a bust or a wasted draft pick.

If this is the best Timmons is for the next 5 years I'll take it. People need to remember that the game of football has an ebb and flow to it. Just because his sacks and forced fumbles haven't happened in the last minute of a game doesn't mean they aren't great plays.

How many of his sacks came against good competition? On how many was he blocked? More often than not, the scheme created a free run for Timmons to the QB.

When you look at a LB taken after Timmons (Jon Beason) already achieving All-Pro status, it is absolutely fair to be disappointed with what Timmons has done to date.

He has athleticism, upside, potential, etc., but I'd like to see him put it together. He hasn't yet.

Some good points. Timmons is probably a better athlete, but Beason seems to have great football intelligence and takes on the run well.

I live in Charlotte and all they have talked about all preseason is how Beason isn't as effective since he was switched from his natural position to weak side LB. He has admitted to being a little wide eyed out there so far this preseason because it's all new to him.

oh.. and how many All Pro LB's does Beason play with in Carolina? Everyone keeps comparing Timmons to the 1 or 2 guys who were drafted around him.

Who knows what Beason would look like in our 3-4. Timmons is fine IMO.

Oviedo
08-26-2010, 12:01 PM
Here we go again... while it's normal to want a player to keep getting better the expectations and disregard for Timmons accomplishments thus far is comical.

3rd in sacks behind 2 Pro Bowlers... his numbers are impressive and people are saying if this is all we get from Timmons he is considered a bust or a wasted draft pick.

If this is the best Timmons is for the next 5 years I'll take it. People need to remember that the game of football has an ebb and flow to it. Just because his sacks and forced fumbles haven't happened in the last minute of a game doesn't mean they aren't great plays.

How many of his sacks came against good competition? On how many was he blocked? More often than not, the scheme created a free run for Timmons to the QB.

When you look at a LB taken after Timmons (Jon Beason) already achieving All-Pro status, it is absolutely fair to be disappointed with what Timmons has done to date.

He has athleticism, upside, potential, etc., but I'd like to see him put it together. He hasn't yet.

Beason is a year older than Timmons and started I believe 3 years at Miami versus one year at FSU for Timmons. Beason was also essentially handed the starting role in Carolina whereas Timmons had to battle an entrenched veteran in a very complex defense where he was asked to make a position change. Beason stepped into a 4-3 defense which as a I said before is an easier transition from college.

If we had drafted Beason he would not have started his rookie year either and would probably be on the same development course that Timmons has been on. LeBeau loves to have and play vets.

Comparing Beason and Timmons is really an apples and oranges comparison. They stepped into completely different situations.

feltdizz
08-26-2010, 12:05 PM
[quote="phillyesq"]

When you look at a LB taken after Timmons (Jon Beason) already achieving All-Pro status, it is absolutely fair to be disappointed with what Timmons has done to date.
[quote]

That makes absolutely no sense at all. You can't look at what a guy is doing on another team and expect him to do the same if taken by us.

Given the schemes and size of our playbook Beason may have been sitting on the freaking bench or doing the Harrison :wft in practice for all we know.

phillyesq
08-26-2010, 01:24 PM
Here we go again... while it's normal to want a player to keep getting better the expectations and disregard for Timmons accomplishments thus far is comical.

3rd in sacks behind 2 Pro Bowlers... his numbers are impressive and people are saying if this is all we get from Timmons he is considered a bust or a wasted draft pick.

If this is the best Timmons is for the next 5 years I'll take it. People need to remember that the game of football has an ebb and flow to it. Just because his sacks and forced fumbles haven't happened in the last minute of a game doesn't mean they aren't great plays.

How many of his sacks came against good competition? On how many was he blocked? More often than not, the scheme created a free run for Timmons to the QB.

When you look at a LB taken after Timmons (Jon Beason) already achieving All-Pro status, it is absolutely fair to be disappointed with what Timmons has done to date.

He has athleticism, upside, potential, etc., but I'd like to see him put it together. He hasn't yet.

Beason is a year older than Timmons and started I believe 3 years at Miami versus one year at FSU for Timmons. Beason was also essentially handed the starting role in Carolina whereas Timmons had to battle an entrenched veteran in a very complex defense where he was asked to make a position change. Beason stepped into a 4-3 defense which as a I said before is an easier transition from college.

If we had drafted Beason he would not have started his rookie year either and would probably be on the same development course that Timmons has been on. LeBeau loves to have and play vets.

Comparing Beason and Timmons is really an apples and oranges comparison. They stepped into completely different situations.

The stepped into different situations, but you can't use Beason's college experience against him, nor is it fair to use Timmons' lack of college experience to make excuses. Their backgrounds were what they were when the Steelers decided to draft Timmons over Beason.

I have no doubt that Beason would have pushed Foote out of the starting lineup. In fact, I would have been surprised to see him only splitting time with Foote in the second half.

I think that Pouncey has shown that the Steelers will play a rookie or a young player whose play demands playing time, so the excuse of the Steelers not playing rookies is not valid, IMO.

feltdizz
08-26-2010, 04:10 PM
Foote>Hartwig

There is no way Beason comes in and unseats Foote his rookie year. It's not how we operate.

Pouncey will hopefully take over the weakest position on our team for the last 3 years.

phillyesq
08-26-2010, 04:17 PM
Foote>Hartwig

There is no way Beason comes in and unseats Foote his rookie year. It's not how we operate.

Pouncey will hopefully take over the weakest position on our team for the last 3 years.

The difference is that Timmons was still behind Foote in year 2. In year 3, at times, Timmons got pulled for Fox due to his performance. Now, in year 4, Foote is brought back, although it remains to be seen whether to support Farrior, or Timmons, or both.

SteelAbility
08-26-2010, 06:17 PM
Timmons is good. He just hasn't lived up to his draft position. That's all. That's why this topic comes up every year. He was the #1 pick and he isn't (yet) living up to the level of play for the 13th or so guy taken in the draft.

feltdizz
08-26-2010, 06:44 PM
Steelers D was #1 in 2007 and 08. It's hard to crack a lineup when it's playing at such a high level. It's much easier to crack the starting line up on a team who was ranked 15th amd 16th.

feltdizz
08-26-2010, 06:51 PM
Timmons is good. He just hasn't lived up to his draft position. That's all. That's why this topic comes up every year. He was the #1 pick and he isn't (yet) living up to the level of play for the 13th or so guy taken in the draft.

What level of play should a 13th pick in the draft be at when he is playing out of his natural position?

Dee Dub
08-26-2010, 07:43 PM
How many of his sacks came against good competition? On how many was he blocked? More often than not, the scheme created a free run for Timmons to the QB.

When you look at a LB taken after Timmons (Jon Beason) already achieving All-Pro status, it is absolutely fair to be disappointed with what Timmons has done to date.

He has athleticism, upside, potential, etc., but I'd like to see him put it together. He hasn't yet.

Totally unfair comparison. Beason was expected and allowed to start from day one. His team didnt have solid LB's ahead of him when he came to his first NFL camp. Timmons did. Timmons got hurt his first camp which put him even further behind.

As far as Timmons, I see a player who has improved all 3 years he's been in the league.

That is pretty promising as far as I am concerned.

RuthlessBurgher
08-26-2010, 09:06 PM
If you look at that 2007 Draft, of the guy picked ahead of Timmons, only 5 of them truly lived up to their draft position. At this point, would you rather than Lawrence Timmons at #15 or JaMarcus Russell at #1, Gaines Adams at #3, Levi Brown at #5, LaRon Landry at #6, Jamaal Anderson at #8, Ted Ginn at #9, Amobi Okoye at #10, Marshawn Lynch at #12, or Adam Carriker at #13? Looking back, I think we got better value with Timmons at #15 than any of those other 9 teams, don't you?

If you did that draft over again knowing what we know now, Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, and Darrelle Revis would likely be your top 5 picks in some order. There were several second round picks who should easily have been first rounders in hindsight, such as Sidney Rice, LaMarr Woodley, David Harris, Steve Smith, and Ryan Kalil. A few other guys in the draft have turned into solid NFL players like Leon Hall, Dwayne Bowe, Jon Beason, and Mike Sims-Walker. That's 14 guys right there.

Could you make an argument that Timmons is the 15th best player to come of this draft? Others like Michael Griffin, Brandon Meriweather, Anthony Spencer, Robert Meachem, Joe Staley, Kevin Kolb, LeRon McClain, Brent Celek, and the undrafted Pierre Thomas might get into the discussion, but if the draft were done again today, I'd say that Timmons would still be a mid-first round pick, right around where we got him at #15. Doesn't seem like bad value to me, even with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight.

steelsnis
08-26-2010, 09:36 PM
In year 3, at times, Timmons got pulled for Fox due to his performance.

When did this happen? The only time I remember Fox playing instead of Timmons was when Timmons was out with injury. I don't recall it ever being a performance based thing.

BradshawsHairdresser
08-27-2010, 09:15 AM
As far as Timmons, I see a player who has improved all 3 years he's been in the league.

That is pretty promising as far as I am concerned.

Yup. By the time he reaches his Pro Bowl potential, his contract will be up and he will be playing for someone else. :lol: :lol:

SteelAbility
08-27-2010, 01:46 PM
Timmons is good. He just hasn't lived up to his draft position. That's all. That's why this topic comes up every year. He was the #1 pick and he isn't (yet) living up to the level of play for the 13th or so guy taken in the draft.

What level of play should a 13th pick in the draft be at when he is playing out of his natural position?

You bring up a good point. In my thinking the Timmons debate is more about the entire Timmons pick/management by the Steelers organization than it is about Timmons himself. What does it say about the entire Timmons management package when we pick up a great talent but can't find a way to make the most of him - to the point that there are debates on forums about him? You would really like to be able to make the most of your Rd1 picks. Major on majors and minor on minors.

cruzer8
08-27-2010, 02:02 PM
Timmons is good. He just hasn't lived up to his draft position. That's all. That's why this topic comes up every year. He was the #1 pick and he isn't (yet) living up to the level of play for the 13th or so guy taken in the draft.

What level of play should a 13th pick in the draft be at when he is playing out of his natural position?

You bring up a good point. In my thinking the Timmons debate is more about the entire Timmons pick/management by the Steelers organization than it is about Timmons himself. What does it say about the entire Timmons management package when we pick up a great talent but can't find a way to make the most of him - to the point that there are debates on forums about him? You would really like to be able to make the most of your Rd1 picks. Major on majors and minor on minors.

It doesn't matter who we take and in what round we take them. Everyone on a message board knows more than the coaches, scouts and front office so there will always be debates.

Timmons was a fine pick and is developing into an explosive, game changing type player.

fezziwig
08-27-2010, 03:51 PM
I hate to say Timmons will be great someday due to his physical abilities but the fact remains, he does have some great abilities. Timmons has sat the bench I think one full season to digest the system, be groomed onto an NFL team. I think he was handled with kids gloves and it hurt him. They should have allowed him more playing time because you can't learn everything from the sideline.
Mentally prepared or knowing the game game is Timmons biggest problem from being thee guy we all want him to be. He needs to play this season without injuries and he needs to show he was worth the number one pick.
I think this season will be his time to shine.

Dang, I hope we can resign Lamar Woodley.

SteelAbility
08-27-2010, 07:52 PM
Timmons is good. He just hasn't lived up to his draft position. That's all. That's why this topic comes up every year. He was the #1 pick and he isn't (yet) living up to the level of play for the 13th or so guy taken in the draft.

What level of play should a 13th pick in the draft be at when he is playing out of his natural position?

You bring up a good point. In my thinking the Timmons debate is more about the entire Timmons pick/management by the Steelers organization than it is about Timmons himself. What does it say about the entire Timmons management package when we pick up a great talent but can't find a way to make the most of him - to the point that there are debates on forums about him? You would really like to be able to make the most of your Rd1 picks. Major on majors and minor on minors.

It doesn't matter who we take and in what round we take them. Everyone on a message board knows more than the coaches, scouts and front office so there will always be debates.

Timmons was a fine pick and is developing into an explosive, game changing type player.

Timmons has made some nice plays here and there. I have yet to see that from Timmons. Until teams start scheming around Timmons I'm not yet ready to even mention the phrase "game changer" in the same sentence with "Lawrence Timmons."

SteelAbility
08-27-2010, 07:59 PM
Timmons is good. He just hasn't lived up to his draft position. That's all. That's why this topic comes up every year. He was the #1 pick and he isn't (yet) living up to the level of play for the 13th or so guy taken in the draft.

What level of play should a 13th pick in the draft be at when he is playing out of his natural position?

You bring up a good point. In my thinking the Timmons debate is more about the entire Timmons pick/management by the Steelers organization than it is about Timmons himself. What does it say about the entire Timmons management package when we pick up a great talent but can't find a way to make the most of him - to the point that there are debates on forums about him? You would really like to be able to make the most of your Rd1 picks. Major on majors and minor on minors.

It doesn't matter who we take and in what round we take them. Everyone on a message board knows more than the coaches, scouts and front office so there will always be debates.

Timmons was a fine pick and is developing into an explosive, game changing type player.

Timmons has made some nice plays here and there. I have yet to see that from Timmons. Until teams start scheming around Timmons I'm not yet ready to even mention the phrase "game changer" in the same sentence with "Lawrence Timmons."

feltdizz
08-27-2010, 08:28 PM
Aaron Smith is a game changer and teams don't plan around him. Casey Hampton is a game changer and they don't plan around him.

I think it's fair to say Timmons is headed in that direction given his stats last year.