PDA

View Full Version : Lawrence Timmons still hasn't topped out



hawaiiansteel
08-03-2011, 02:01 AM
Kovacevic: Timmons still hasn't topped out

By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

http://thesportshernia.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b84f69e2010536c6c053970b-550wi

Watch Lawrence Timmons slide left and right as signals are called, then slip back as if he might drop into coverage, then erupt forward with a flying tackle of Rashard Mendenhall, and this 6-foot-1, 234-pound heat-seeking missile makes it easy to forget: This is an inside linebacker.

And that had me thinking, from my perch atop one of the rolling green hills of St. Vincent College on Tuesday, that No. 94 simply must be the Steelers' breakout player for the coming season, the one who bursts into prominence.

Just one problem with that: Timmons already broke out in 2010, even if few seemed to notice.

"I don't know about the rest of the NFL, but Lawrence has been on our radar," linebackers coach Keith Butler told me before practice. "And we not only think he was exceptional last year; we think he's going to be even better, one of the best in the league."

Well, maybe there's room for another breakout, then, to a higher level.

"Sure there is," outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "Lawrence is a special talent. You're going to see something big."

Timmons, the Steelers' first-round pick in 2007, came into his own last season with 135 tackles seventh-most among NFL linebackers and 26 more than fellow inside linebacker James Farrior plus three sacks and two fumble recoveries.

But what separates Timmons from the pack is pass coverage, which he performs as artfully as anyone at his position. He had two interceptions and, here's the number that leaps off the page, nine passes defensed. That ranked fifth among NFL linebackers and was just two fewer than defensive back teammates Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and William Gay, and one fewer than the perpetually picked-on Bryant McFadden.

This is an inside linebacker.

"Lawrence can cover like a safety, and he'll hit you once he gets there," Butler said. "He's a different animal."

It's tempting to want to return Timmons to outside linebacker, where he dominated in college. There would be more sacks, more tackles for losses, even more of a fright factor to an already fearsome defense. But it whips me back to my senses to realize how his dropping into coverage out of the middle can mess with the mind of a quarterback. Imagine poor Joe Flacco of Baltimore never anticipating that his tight end could be blanketed by the guy eyeballing him from directly across the line of scrimmage.

It's this type of wild card that makes the D!ck LeBeau defense so dynamic and makes Timmons such "a tremendous asset," as Butler called him.

Still, there has been no Pro Bowl for Timmons, and there hasn't even been much in the way of press coverage, either. He's undoubtedly the Steelers' most underappreciated player.

That has plenty to do with the roster having maybe a dozen players with greater name recognition. But it also might be indicative that Timmons can do better, and I'd heartily agree. He started far better than he finished last season, partly because of minor but nagging injuries, partly because ... well, only he can say. In the Steelers' Lombardi-or-bust world, first-half fanfare doesn't cut it.

"I am going to take it to another level this year," he said. "I know what my abilities are."

As if to back that up, Timmons boldly forecast he will have 10 sacks this year. That's seven more than last season and, truth be told, next to impossible for an inside linebacker delving into pass coverage. I mentioned that to Timmons, but he cited a film review of 2010 that showed he narrowly missed on 10 sacks, with at least one hand on the quarterback each time.

"In the pros, it's a game of inches," Timmons said. "I think I'm the type of athlete where I can be a double-digit sack guy, without changing anything else I do. I just need to be better once I get to the QB."

Oh, and this, too: Timmons wants to reach the level of the San Francisco 49ers' brilliant Patrick Willis, widely acclaimed as the game's premier middle linebacker.

"He's the man," Timmons said. "He's No. 1 in my eyes right now."

Right now?

"I'm working to get toward that."

Someone's bound to pay attention.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1Tw24PKfu (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_749726.html#ixzz1Tw24PKfu)

Chadman
08-03-2011, 02:36 AM
:Bow

That's the man I wanted drafted that year- the most dynamic LB we've seen in a long time.

Honestly- Willis might always be the better player. But Timmons might cause more headaches in time simply through his versatility & athletisism.

chiken
08-03-2011, 06:56 AM
This guy could be an absolute Monster out there. Man I feel like I can see every one of those sacks where he ran past the qb, or got bumped off his straight line by a smaller back.
Truck them Fools man!!!! :tt1

I think thats why he picked up that weight.

Oviedo
08-03-2011, 09:05 AM
But haven't the "experts" already determined he is a "BUST" and not worthy of where he was drafted? Anyone recall who those "experts" are or where they are now?

feltdizz
08-03-2011, 09:24 AM
But haven't the "experts" already determined he is a "BUST" and not worthy of where he was drafted? Anyone recall who those "experts" are or where they are now?

Maybe they will return once you admit Redman is a legit 3rd down back. :stirpot

joking :Cheers

Oviedo
08-03-2011, 09:39 AM
But haven't the "experts" already determined he is a "BUST" and not worthy of where he was drafted? Anyone recall who those "experts" are or where they are now?

Maybe they will return once you admit Redman is a legit 3rd down back. :stirpot

joking :Cheers

I hope Barron Batch will be that guy!!!!!

Chavezz
08-03-2011, 09:58 AM
I wonder if the front office is holding off on Woodley because they feel like they can only keep one of Woodley or Timmons? Think about that for a minute. If you can only keep one, who is it?

At OLB we have a little depth but at ILB we have nothing behind the starters.

Both players are going to command top dollar and I don't see either taking any kind of discount. This is their first BIG MONEY contract and normally the player takes the opportunity to cash in.

flippy
08-03-2011, 10:24 AM
I wonder if the front office is holding off on Woodley because they feel like they can only keep one of Woodley or Timmons? Think about that for a minute. If you can only keep one, who is it?

At OLB we have a little depth but at ILB we have nothing behind the starters.

Both players are going to command top dollar and I don't see either taking any kind of discount. This is their first BIG MONEY contract and normally the player takes the opportunity to cash in.

No reason not to keep em both.

ikestops85
08-03-2011, 10:25 AM
But haven't the "experts" already determined he is a "BUST" and not worthy of where he was drafted? Anyone recall who those "experts" are or where they are now?

Maybe they will return once you admit Redman is a legit 3rd down back. :stirpot

joking :Cheers

I hope Barron Batch will be that guy!!!!!

I hope BB is that guy also. I also hope Redman will take some of the load off of Mendy. He has shown he deserves a chance.

Shawn
08-03-2011, 11:44 AM
But haven't the "experts" already determined he is a "BUST" and not worthy of where he was drafted? Anyone recall who those "experts" are or where they are now?

I have to agree. All too often we judge a player too soon. Timmons was a raw talent with a huge ceiling...he needed time. With that said, I believe Timmons may be the best ILB in the league this year. All too often people look at sacks to analyze a LBs effectiveness. But, Timmons does everything well. When Troy is gone...he will be the guy used like Troy. He has that kind of special talent.

NJ-STEELER
08-03-2011, 12:09 PM
I'd be a little disappointed if he already topped out

Eddie Spaghetti
08-03-2011, 12:15 PM
who was the "expert" who said pouncey would be a bust and never succeed at this level?

hmmmm.

Chavezz
08-03-2011, 12:18 PM
I wonder if the front office is holding off on Woodley because they feel like they can only keep one of Woodley or Timmons? Think about that for a minute. If you can only keep one, who is it?

At OLB we have a little depth but at ILB we have nothing behind the starters.

Both players are going to command top dollar and I don't see either taking any kind of discount. This is their first BIG MONEY contract and normally the player takes the opportunity to cash in.

No reason not to keep em both.
No reason except money. Which is the most important reason. I think drew rosenhaus is timmons agent as well. Things to consider.

flippy
08-03-2011, 12:22 PM
I wonder if the front office is holding off on Woodley because they feel like they can only keep one of Woodley or Timmons? Think about that for a minute. If you can only keep one, who is it?

At OLB we have a little depth but at ILB we have nothing behind the starters.

Both players are going to command top dollar and I don't see either taking any kind of discount. This is their first BIG MONEY contract and normally the player takes the opportunity to cash in.

No reason not to keep em both.
No reason except money. Which is the most important reason. I think drew rosenhaus is timmons agent as well. Things to consider.

They can get rid of Farrior, Smith, Ward, Harrison, Hampton, etc before they let Timmons/Woodley get away if they are cash strapped.

We don't let young budding superstars get away after their rookie contracts. We let the older guys go if we need to based on cash/cap.

I just don't see this one as a choice we'll have to make. They'll both be here for the long run imho.

Snatch98
08-03-2011, 02:57 PM
I wonder if the front office is holding off on Woodley because they feel like they can only keep one of Woodley or Timmons? Think about that for a minute. If you can only keep one, who is it?

At OLB we have a little depth but at ILB we have nothing behind the starters.

Both players are going to command top dollar and I don't see either taking any kind of discount. This is their first BIG MONEY contract and normally the player takes the opportunity to cash in.

No reason not to keep em both.
No reason except money. Which is the most important reason. I think drew rosenhaus is timmons agent as well. Things to consider.

I think people read too far in to Rosenhaus. He's only notorious because of his interaction with T.O and T.O has always been a out there and in your face type player. A good sports agent tries to represent each player a certain way I'd say and a lot of that has to do with the personality of the player being represented. If Timmons wants to stay in Pittsburgh dealing with Roesnhaus won't be difficult. He represents McFadden and Antonio Brown as well.

birtikidis
08-03-2011, 04:13 PM
But haven't the "experts" already determined he is a "BUST" and not worthy of where he was drafted? Anyone recall who those "experts" are or where they are now?

Maybe they will return once you admit Redman is a legit 3rd down back. :stirpot

joking :Cheers

I hope Barron Batch will be that guy!!!!!

I hope BB is that guy also. I also hope Redman will take some of the load off of Mendy. He has shown he deserves a chance.
Redman DEFINITELY deserves more touches than a third down back would get. It should go 50/30/20
50 percent to RM
30 percent to RedMAN
20 whoever the third down back is.

Oviedo
08-03-2011, 04:25 PM
But haven't the "experts" already determined he is a "BUST" and not worthy of where he was drafted? Anyone recall who those "experts" are or where they are now?

Maybe they will return once you admit Redman is a legit 3rd down back. :stirpot

joking :Cheers

I hope Barron Batch will be that guy!!!!!

I hope BB is that guy also. I also hope Redman will take some of the load off of Mendy. He has shown he deserves a chance.
Redman DEFINITELY deserves more touches than a third down back would get. It should go 50/30/20
50 percent to RM
30 percent to RedMAN
20 whoever the third down back is.

I'd go:

60% Mendy
20% Redman
20% 3rd Down guy

birtikidis
08-03-2011, 04:32 PM
60% Mendy
20% Redman
20% 3rd Down guy
And you'd run the legs off mendy. He already has more carries then he should. I'm too lazy to look up the post but there is a well written article on why he should get fewer carries. IT's here somewhere. you should read it. Not being a smartass btw

RuthlessBurgher
08-04-2011, 01:17 PM
:Bow

That's the man I wanted drafted that year- the most dynamic LB we've seen in a long time.

Honestly- Willis might always be the better player. But Timmons might cause more headaches in time simply through his versatility & athletisism.

Pat Willis is indeed an animal, but this year he gets to experience what life is like without Aubrayo Franklin in front of him (now in New Orleans) and Takeo Spikes next to him (now in San Diego).

Slapstick
08-04-2011, 01:53 PM
Why wouldn't someone want Redman to get more touches?

4.8 YpC during the regular season....

7.1 YpC in the post season (albeit with MANY fewer carries)...

2 Rec. TDs (mostly because they put Mendenhall in at goalline situations)...

I like Mendenhall...but, I don't want to see him go the way of Willie Parker...

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
08-04-2011, 02:44 PM
60% Mendy
20% Redman
20% 3rd Down guy
And you'd run the legs off mendy. He already has more carries then he should. I'm too lazy to look up the post but there is a well written article on why he should get fewer carries. IT's here somewhere. you should read it. Not being a smartass btw

Last season Mendy had 69% of the runs.

If you remove everyone but the top three backs from last year - Mendy, Redman, Moore - the Mendy accounted for 79% of the touches. Ben had one more rush than Mewelde. :lol:

If you go a 1,2,3 of 65% - 20% - 15% based on last year then you would have Mendy getting 266 rushing attempts which would be 58 fewer than last year.

Redman gets 82 touches - 30 more than last season and.......

#3 whoever he is gets 61 attempts which is exactly the same amount as everyone else except for Ben combined (Moore, Dwyer, Batch, Dixon, Wallace, ARE, Ward).

Not a bad split.

hawaiiansteel
08-08-2011, 02:57 AM
A tough call: Timmons over Polamalu

Sunday, August 07, 2011
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Troy Polamalu or Lawrence Timmons?

Say it comes down to one or the other. Say the Steelers can do a long-term contract extension with only one before the start of the season. Say they have to risk losing the other as a free agent after the season.

What's your call?

What would you do if you were Steelers brass Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin?

You have to give the new deal to Timmons, right?

Timmons is 25, on the verge of becoming an NFL star. His combination of speed, strength and explosive power at inside linebacker is extraordinary. He is the future of the Steelers' defense along with outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley and defensive ends Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward. He has to be the top priority this month.

Polamalu is 30. Although he might be far from finished -- he was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year last season -- he has been susceptible to injuries. An Achilles problem dramatically lessened his effectiveness at safety in the playoffs and Super Bowl last season and remains an issue at this training camp. Everyone assumes Polamalu will be ready for the opening game at Baltimore Sept. 11, but there are no guarantees. Nor are there guarantees he will make it through the season without aggravating the injury or being struck down by another. He has to be less of a priority than Timmons.

That's not heretical.

That's just being practical.

We should know what the Steelers are thinking in the next few weeks. They have turned their full attention to Timmons and Polamalu now that they've made Woodley the highest-paid defensive player in franchise history. They secured Woodley's rights for this season with their franchise tag before locking him up long term Friday with a six-year, $61.5 million contract, including a $22.4 million bonus.

The Woodley signing added to what's been a frenetic but terrific summer for Colbert, Tomlin and team capologist Omar Khan, who play the NFL's salary-cap game as well as any management team in the league. They almost always find a way to keep the players they really want without busting their budget. It wasn't just Woodley this time. It was cornerback Ike Taylor and offensive tackle Willie Colon, among others.

"We sometimes get accused of not spending money on free agents," Colbert said last week. "But, if you add up what we spend to keep our guys, it's usually more."

Certainly, the Steelers will have to spend to keep Timmons and Polamalu.

It's important that the team gets at least one signed before the start of the season, its self-imposed deadline for contract negotiations. It was able to bring back Taylor and Colon as unrestricted free agents, but it might not be so fortunate with Timmons and Polamalu. They would be much more in demand on the open market.

Doing a deal with Timmons is the safe, logical way to go, not just because he's younger and his best seasons are ahead but because his cost will be significantly lower. A new contract would be his second with the Steelers. It would be No. 3 for Polamalu. Players generally make the really big money in their third deal.

If the Steelers re-sign Timmons, it doesn't mean they would have to lose Polamalu. If he stays healthy and keeps making the splash plays everyone loves and has come to expect, the team could put its franchise tag on him after this season. That would keep him in Pittsburgh at least through the 2012 season.

It's hard to imagine Polamalu playing for another team. He's a future Hall of Famer. He's one of the Steelers' all-time most popular players. He's a wonderful human being. He's been a great representative of the franchise in the community and nationally.

And that hair ...

Of course, it was hard to imagine Hall of Famers Franco Harris, Mike Webster and Rod Woodson playing for another team.

The Steelers let all three leave.

Football is a business, often cruel but always a business. Polamalu doesn't figure to offer to give the Steelers any sort of discount in his contract discussions with them this month. They don't figure to overpay him no matter how badly they want to keep him. The deal has to be right for both sides. The timing has to be right.

For Polamalu and the Steelers, it makes more sense to do a new contract next off-season.

Now is Timmons' time.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11219/11 ... z1UPUnx5u0 (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11219/1165772-87-0.stm#ixzz1UPUnx5u0)

papillon
08-08-2011, 09:24 AM
Lets hope it doesn't come down to having to make a choice between the two of them. You can add Wallace to the mix as well. If I were GM and I have no idea about the intricacies of doing the job, I would target Timmons this year while his salary demands are as low as they are going to be. Next year will be a difficult year for many veterans and fan favorites, Smith, Ward, Foote, Farrior, Hoke, Kiesel if the Steelers are going to try and retain Polamalu and Wallace.

But, that's next year, so, I would sign Timmons this year and work on Troy next year to ensure he's a Steeler for life.

Wallace could become cost prohibitive if he improves again this year like he did last year.

Pappy

Slapstick
08-08-2011, 01:07 PM
I would work on Timmons as well...

Troy can be retained next year with a Franchise Tag...less $ for a Safety than for a LB, IIRC...

Wallace will be a RFA and can have a restrictive tender placed upon him to allow for further negotiations...

hawaiiansteel
08-18-2011, 06:42 PM
Timmons' star on rise at inside linebacker

Thursday, August 18, 2011
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1295326/37077349E.jpg

The Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers preseason opponent tonight at Heinz Field, have assembled a Pro Bowl-type secondary with the addition of cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to go with incumbent Asante Samuel. Scouring the NFL with an electron microscope might not reveal another team with so much talent at one position.

Except for the Steelers.

The collection of linebackers in their 3-4 defense is unmatched in the NFL, especially on the outside with James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley -- the most productive linebacker sack tandem in the league since 2008. And inside linebacker James Farrior has been to two Pro Bowls and is coming off a season in which he might have been their best linebacker.

But now the Steelers have another member of that unit on the verge of stardom, a player Farrior said "can be the best linebacker in the NFL."

His name is Lawrence Timmons, and none of his teammates mention his name without using the words "Pro Bowl" in the same sentence.

"He's already the most athletic linebacker in the league right now," Farrior said.

"The sky is the limit for him," said defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

"When you have the talent he has and you understand the game, then you're going to be leading the league," said linebackers coach Keith Butler. "And he's got the opportunity to do that."

The first draft choice after coach Mike Tomlin took over in 2007, Timmons started to flash his awesome ability last season when he led the team in tackles (149), even though he appeared to level off after a quick start. He plays the Mack (or weakside) position next to Farrior, who plays the Buck position, in the middle of the unit. The defense is designed for the inside linebackers to make a lot of tackles, and they do (Farrior was second with 137).

But, if such a thing is possible, Timmons looks faster and more disruptive this season, reminding his teammates that, on a unit loaded with stars, he has the potential to shine the brightest.

He's quick and explosive," said Harrison, a four-time Pro Bowler and the 2008 NFL defensive player of the year. "He had a better understanding of the defense last year, and this year looks like he will be even better. It looks like he's getting faster and more explosive each year."

Finding room to be a standout among the Steelers linebackers is like trying to get face time in a photo shoot with Jennifer Lopez. Especially on a unit where Harrison and Woodley have each registered double-digit sacks in each of the past three seasons -- a club record.

Despite being used in a number of blitz situations, Timmons had only three sacks in 2010, something he hopes to change this season.

"I feel like I can make more plays and make all parts of my game better," Timmons said. "As far as pass-rushing, I felt like I dropped the ball there because I felt like I missed quite a few sacks. I feel like I can help the team more with that this year."

Asked why he feels that way, Timmons said, "I think my speed kind of works against me. The quarterback gives you a double move, and I run past him. I felt I could have had at least double-digit sacks last year because I had so many hurries. And those hurries turn into missed sacks pretty much."

Nobody else, though, is worried that Timmons' closing speed -- only Troy Polamalu can match it among his teammates -- works against him.

"That's fine with me," Butler said. "If you're an aggressive linebacker, that happens sometimes. I'm not going to calm him down."

"It's a problem I don't mind dealing with," LeBeau said.

Timmons quickly has become one of the unit's key components, and not just because of his immense talent.

Timmons' contract is up at the end of the season, and the Steelers would like to extend his deal before the start of the regular season Sept. 11. But, because of the lockout and the short amount of time the team has had to build their roster for this season, any extension may have to wait until after the season.

Talks have not started with Timmons or Polamalu, whose contract also expires after the season. Meantime, Timmons will worry only about getting better and, if his teammates are correct, becoming one of their brightest stars.

"I'm definitely striving for that," Timmons said. "I'm working hard every day. I definitely want to be the best at what I do, That's why I'm doing it."

He's right on the verge.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11230/11 ... z1VPncIWdT (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11230/1168094-66-0.stm#ixzz1VPncIWdT)

Oviedo
08-18-2011, 08:00 PM
Too bad he is "soft against the run"

ikestops85
08-18-2011, 11:30 PM
Too bad he is "soft against the run"
:stirpot

:lol: :lol:

hawaiiansteel
08-24-2011, 02:08 AM
On The Steelers: Timmons gets new contract; it's a big deal

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Timmons a lot like Polamalu

The Steelers will not sign Polamalu this year, but James Farrior said they signed his likeness in Timmons.

"He reminds me a lot like Troy," said Farrior, the defensive captain. "He makes plays the way Troy makes plays, he closes on ball-carriers and receivers the way Troy does. He has a lot of those same instincts that Troy has. We kid him about it all the time, he can get back there and play safety if he wanted to."

Timmons and Woodley were one-two in the Steelers draft of 2007, the first with Mike Tomlin as coach. Timmons has not made a Pro Bowl, but Farrior and others believe he is ready to explode in his third season as a starting inside linebacker. Timmons got off to a fast start last season and, at one point, led the league in tackles before leveling off. He refused to blame a bad hematoma on his side for any of it.

"Not a lot of people know him right now, but I'm sure they'll get to know him this year," Farrior said. "I think he can be the best linebacker in the league, hands down. He just has to put it all together. We thought it was going to happen last year.

"I think he started out great but kind of got lost in the shuffle a little bit along the way, but I'm looking for big things out of him this year."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11236/11 ... z1VurQC9VL (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11236/1169372-66.stm#ixzz1VurQC9VL)