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Thread: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

  1. #1
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    Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    Interesting that the article thinks Timmons best fit is Farrior's "Buck" LB position because of the need to cover which is clearly Timmons strongest asset with his speed.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08163/888894-66.stm

    "My time might be winding down at that position. It's just a matter of when the coaches throw him in there." -- Larry Foote
    Wednesday, June 11, 2008
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Matt Freed/Post-Gazette
    Steelers 2007 No. 1 draft pick Lawrence Timmons.As Big Brown discovered, nothing is a sure thing in sports, not even a 1-7 shot. The closest, though, might be this: If you're drafted in the first round by the Steelers, you will have a starting job no later than your second pro season.

    Only one of their first-round draft choices did not become a regular starter by at least his second season since the infamous Huey Richardson in 1991. That was offensive tackle Jamain Stephens, a monumental bust of a pick in '96. Stephens did not become a regular until '98 and was cut the night after he collapsed, out of shape, during running drills on the first day of training camp the next season.

    Those are the cold, hard facts that face Larry Foote as he tries to hold onto his starting job at inside linebacker this spring and summer. Foote has been the Steelers' starting mack inside linebacker the past four seasons, lining up next to James Farrior. During that time, he started all 64 games and led the team with 123 tackles in 2005, despite not playing in their dime defense on passing downs.

    Looming large behind him on the spring depth chart is Lawrence Timmons, the Steelers' first-round choice in 2007, the 15th overall pick and the first under Mike Tomlin's watch.

    The result of the competition going on at the mack linebacker looks inevitable.

    "I don't think it's competition," Foote said after another spring practice. "I really think it's just a matter of time until they throw him in there, just because of the politics of the game -- and it looks like he can play."

    That's a major difference between Timmons and Stephens/Richardson, each of whom showed a stunning inability to play on the pro level right from the start. Timmons played mostly on special teams last season and has displayed great speed and quickness in practices.

    He must show he knows the defense and has the football instincts that mesmerized Tomlin when he saw him at Florida State.

    "We don't know yet because he hasn't been out there," Foote said of Timmons' limited play in games, "but it looks like he can get it down.

    "My time might be winding down at that position. It's just a matter of when the coaches throw him in there."

    Foote won't give up his four-year hold on the job without a fight, despite his words that merely reflect an understanding of the situation.

    "My whole career has been up and down. I've been in this spot before. You can't worry about that stuff. When they feel like he's ready, I'm quite sure he's going to be in there."

    Farrior was a first-round draft choice of the New York Jets who had trouble finding a regular position until he signed with the Steelers as a free agent in 2002 and flourished here. He, too, believes Timmons can handle the job, but will have to pry it away from Foote's grasp first.

    "It's not going to be an easy win if he's trying to take the spot," Farrior said. "We all want to win and we all want to do what's best for the team. Whatever that is and whatever the coaches ask us to do we have to do."

    It's feasible that ultimately Timmons could play the buck linebacker position, the one Farrior holds. Barring injuries, that won't happen this season, but Farrior, 33, enters the final season of his contract, and Timmons' abilities seem suited more for the buck than the mack.

    The buck must drop and cover receivers more often, must be quick and fast -- it's a more athletic position. The buck usually stays on the field in the dime defense as the lone inside linebacker; he's the one who calls the defensive signals, and Farrior will wear the helmet with the radio receiver in it this season.

    Tomlin does not publicly analyze the various competitions on his team this spring, but he's known to be excited about Timmons' possibilities. He's having a much better time of it than he did as a rookie, when his hamstring was injured in the first minicamp practice and he missed the rest of the spring drills with his new teammates.

    "He's healthy, for one," Farrior said. "And I think this offseason gave him some time to reflect and look back on the defense and try to really understand it. I think he's coming along just fine."
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    Hall of Famer costanza2k1's Avatar
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    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    I read this article last night and Foote seems to be bitter about this, calling it the politics of the game. It read like he tried to politically correct but his emotions were taking over. I understand where the man is coming from I just hope he pulls a Townsend and makes the decision a tough one for the coaches by busting his butt. Timmons should earn the position not be given it in my opinion. From all the stories that have come out we hear how fast and quick he is, I just hope he has progressed enough in his understanding of our complicated defense. All in all we have a nice problem going on at ILB.
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  3. #3

    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    Timmons takes Foote's position this year and Farriors next year. If Foote is a good "soldier", he'll remain with the team, back up for a year and then reclaim his position when Timmons transitions to Farrior's spot.

    I don't see Farrior holding on after this year unless he accepts a back up role. With his age and decreasing speed he's not going to be able to keep up with those TE that run like WR's.

    What he MIGHT be able to do though is move over to Foote's spot after Timmons takes his? I'm just not sure if Farrior has enough mass/strength to consistently "fill the hole" and take on the full back and o lineman.

    Something to think about.

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    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    Quote Originally Posted by Chavezz
    Timmons takes Foote's position this year and Farriors next year. If Foote is a good "soldier", he'll remain with the team, back up for a year and then reclaim his position when Timmons transitions to Farrior's spot.

    I don't see Farrior holding on after this year unless he accepts a back up role. With his age and decreasing speed he's not going to be able to keep up with those TE that run like WR's.

    What he MIGHT be able to do though is move over to Foote's spot after Timmons takes his? I'm just not sure if Farrior has enough mass/strength to consistently "fill the hole" and take on the full back and o lineman.

    Something to think about.


    Foote has to take the long term view of this and not pout himself off the team. If that means turning into the leader of the Special teams for one year then he should do that.
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  5. #5

    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    Quote Originally Posted by costanza2k1
    I read this article last night and Foote seems to be bitter about this, calling it the politics of the game. It read like he tried to politically correct but his emotions were taking over. I understand where the man is coming from I just hope he pulls a Townsend and makes the decision a tough one for the coaches by busting his butt. Timmons should earn the position not be given it in my opinion. From all the stories that have come out we hear how fast and quick he is, I just hope he has progressed enough in his understanding of our complicated defense. All in all we have a nice problem going on at ILB.
    I think it's probably very common for players to take losing their job personally. There were a few comments where he did seem kind of whiney but then he'd go on to say something like "He does look like he can play" or something to that effect.

    Foote was a grinder who was always a marginal starter. He should be happy with the success that he's had. Still doesn't make it any easier though when someone takes your job.

    Wait until Sweed/Holmes starts really pushing Ward to the bench. That should make for some interesting quotes unless Ward is READY to step back!

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    Hall of Famer AngryAsian's Avatar
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    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    Quote Originally Posted by Chavezz
    Quote Originally Posted by costanza2k1
    I read this article last night and Foote seems to be bitter about this, calling it the politics of the game. It read like he tried to politically correct but his emotions were taking over. I understand where the man is coming from I just hope he pulls a Townsend and makes the decision a tough one for the coaches by busting his butt. Timmons should earn the position not be given it in my opinion. From all the stories that have come out we hear how fast and quick he is, I just hope he has progressed enough in his understanding of our complicated defense. All in all we have a nice problem going on at ILB.
    I think it's probably very common for players to take losing their job personally. There were a few comments where he did seem kind of whiney but then he'd go on to say something like "He does look like he can play" or something to that effect.

    Foote was a grinder who was always a marginal starter. He should be happy with the success that he's had. Still doesn't make it any easier though when someone takes your job.

    Wait until Sweed/Holmes starts really pushing Ward to the bench. That should make for some interesting quotes unless Ward is READY to step back!

    I have no doubt that Hines will step away from the game as a Steeler. I think he knows that the same vigor he has used to make his mark in his respective position is the same vigor that has cost him more sideline time as of late. You can't play WR like a strong safety and not have it take a toll on your body. That's why I think he'll resign with the team when this contract is up and take a cut to remain a Steeler.

    As for Foote, I have to agree with you on the "marginal" comment. He has been steady but you can't say that he's been rock solid as a ILB. I think that with Timmons' new found comfortability with the playbook comes Foote's transfer papers to the sidelines. Tomlin has been a defensive coach for a number of years and I would think that he knows talent when he sees it. Timmons will start this year.... the question is when.

  7. #7
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    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    Chavezz I agree with both of your posts, it is natural for players to have their egos hurt especially since the life expectancy is so short in this sport...(see S. Alexander). I really do hope they resign Farrior and if nothing else he can be the 1st backup for Timmons and Foote. I think he may have at least 3 more years left in the tank.
    ours is not to wonder why just invert and multiply...

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    Hall of Famer AngryAsian's Avatar
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    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    Quote Originally Posted by costanza2k1
    Chavezz I agree with both of your posts, it is natural for players to have their egos hurt especially since the life expectancy is so short in this sport...(see S. Alexander). I really do hope they resign Farrior and if nothing else he can be the 1st backup for Timmons and Foote. I think he may have at least 3 more years left in the tank.

    Farrior will not be the back up behind Timmons.... it will be Foote. Declining or not, Farrior second to Harrison in sacks last year. You can't let our second leading sack man hug the pine when you're trying to improve in this area. Plus Farrior was the only thing resembling a on field general last year on the defensive side of the ball.

  9. #9
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    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    I think Timmons, Woodley, and Mendenhall are going to all ahve great years for the Steelers this year.

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    Re: Timmons Poised to Unseat Foote

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSONE
    I think Timmons, Woodley, and Mendenhall are going to all ahve great years for the Steelers this year.


    I'll add some numbers:

    Woodley: 10+ sacks
    Timmons: 4-5 sacks plus 3 INTs
    Mendenhall: 400+ yards rushing, 6 TDs, 20+ receptions
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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