View Full Version : Collier: Steelers' Timmons easy to notice

09-17-2010, 01:59 AM
Collier: Steelers' Timmons easy to notice
Thursday, September 16, 2010
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Spent 25 minutes in the Steelers locker room Wednesday looking for Lawrence Timmons, which usually would be sufficiently irritating except there was something even more irritating about it -- he was probably there all the time.

This is the way the right inside linebacker in Dick LeBeau's defense operates.

He's rarely at his locker. Just about never amplifies the squawking cacophony of Steelers downtime, which this season includes pingpong, pool and trash can basketball complete with a 3-point line marked with swatches of ankle tape. But mostly he's there somewhere, blended to the backdrop in a gray hoodie, effortlessly raising unobtrusiveness to a dull science.

No one should ever say that Timmons is quiet as a church mouse. Your standard church mouse is Dick Vitale next to this guy.

"Work hard, stay humble," he said when cornered. "It's just the way I go about it."

Timmons made 11 tackles in the opener against Atlanta, seven of them by himself, three of them in the Falcons' backfield, all of those at the painful expense of a flattened Michael Turner. On Sundays, like most days, Timmons sometimes turns up where people aren't looking for him. But not for much longer.

Still only 24, Timmons has just about reached the status where analysts will pay him the ultimate reflexive compliment: "He has to be accounted for."

If you're counting the has-to-be-accounted-fors in the Steelers' defense, it's near time Timmons takes his place in people's consciousness next to the three Pro Bowl linebackers he's out there with, with Troy Polamalu, with Aaron Smith, with any of the responsible components of a defense that still has a chance to be as intimidating as it ever was.

No wonder Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young said via conference call Wednesday, "You always want to measure yourself against the best."

Young, who has never started against the Steelers, has to take the video study pretty seriously this week. James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley are no longer a couple of menaces that Kerry Collins has to worry about.

"You can see how aggressive they are," Young said. "You can see the way they take care of their responsibilities in getting from Point A to Point B. When a defense is playing like that, you have to be patient and take what they give you."

They gave Atlanta fewer than 300 yards, fewer than 60 on the ground, and no touchdowns. When the Falcons finally got a sniff of the end zone, with a first-and-10 at the Steelers' 14 in the fourth quarter, Timmons planted Turner 3 yards deep in the backfield and that possession unraveled into three points.

The first time he walked into a draft room as a head coach, Mike Tomlin knew what he wanted the minute the New York Jets took Darrelle Revis on the turn before Pittsburgh's. He wanted Lawrence Timmons, who was only 20 when he first appeared in this locker room from Florida State, a child in a man's game as he'd put it later.

Timmons' development has been sometimes spectacular but always steady, and though there hasn't always been direct causation, from the day of Tomlin's first draft to this day, the Steelers have allowed fewer points than anyone in the National Football League (825), and it hasn't been terribly close (New England is second having allowed 892).

Timmons wasn't here two full seasons when Larry Foote, the starter at his position, came to two conclusions:

1) I can still play.

2) But maybe not like Lawrence Timmons.

That's part of why Foote took his game to Detroit, and part of why he this year decided it was better to be in Pittsburgh enjoying Lawrence Timmons in full bloom than in Ford Field on the wrong end of 31-16 every week.

Foote always helped Timmons, in the film room, on the field, off the field. Never chafed at the inevitable. But Timmons helped make a smooth transition possible. He dragged a natural humility out of his native South Carolina, and somehow kept it intact in the sometimes me-first ethos of a Seminoles program jammed with future NFL studs. Even as Timmons dodges the spotlight while Foote plays pingpong, the starter harbors no presumptions.

"All I'm trying to do is improve day by day," Timmons said. "I don't consider myself to be on any particular level. I try to practice hard and study hard so that I know what I'm doing. The coaches and players have always helped me with that.

"I just try to make plays when I can make them. I don't put myself on a pedestal. Just trying to get better, and not settle for anything."

Timmons likely won't have to put himself on any pedestal. Soon, perhaps very soon, the game's serious students and better players will do it for him.

If they can find him.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10259/1087889-150.stm#ixzz0zlPlggsa

09-17-2010, 01:29 PM
Timmons is another Steeler LB prodigy he will get his acclaim if he stays healthy.

09-17-2010, 01:59 PM
I am a big fan of his

09-17-2010, 07:36 PM
I really like this dude! With that type of attitude, work ethic and his amazing talent, he will deff be in with the great Steeler linebackers!