June 2, 2008

Baby Steps...BIG Baby Steps...

"He’s finally gaining an understanding of what he needs to be doing...He’s starting to realize what the other players on defense are doing."
- James Farrior
I feel like this isn't the first time I'm saying this, but - Thank God for Jim Wexell. If not for this report from OTAs, I'd probably be writing about Dinosaurs again. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Actually, at this point in the offseason I kind of prefer it. But I imagine it is Steelers news you crave from a Steelers blog, right? Hey, maybe someday I'll even bring you some of it first hand. That'd be nice.

Anyways, according to Wexell's report, Lawrence Timmons, who missed just about all of last year's preseason with a neverending groin injury, is finally getting a handle on the inside linebacker spot. As you'll all remember, Timmons was an outside linebacker at Florida State. But since Silverback's pretty much inhuman and Lamarr Woodley is emerging as the yin to Silverback's yang, there isn't much room for Timmons on the outside.

Plus, I'd imagine the Steelers are thinking long-term. I believe James Farrior is going into a contract year, and at 33, he isn't exactly the pair of fresh legs he once was. So it would seem like only a matter of time before Timmons goes from heir apparent to just heir.

Back to the discussion at hand - as evidence of Timmons' progress (because actions speak louder than words), Wexell offers the following:
Timmons dropped into the flat to cover the running back, who was the checkdown receiver on the play. Quarterback Jared Zabransky looked deep, saw the primary receiver covered, and threw to the back. The pass never got there. Timmons intercepted it for a touchdown.
And while that sounds real nice and everything, my two favorite parts of Wexell's report follow immediately after.

The first, is Timmons' response to making this play - "I was just doing my job, that’s all." Sounds like the right attitude to me. In fact, I'll bet that's what Moses said when he delivered the Ten Commandments. Humility is important, you know?

The second, is Wexell's professional assessment of the same play - "He couldn’t even do that last year at this time." A friendly observation after my own heart. Enthusiastic, but honest. I think that pretty much sums it up.

Now, of course it's only June 2. And training camp doesn't even start for a good six weeks or so. Which means the season is even further off. But it's great to hear that the man who really missed it all last year is finally looking like he's making progress. Usually what you like to hear about your 1st round draft picks, wouldn't you say?

What do you guys think about Timmons? Still disappointed by last year? This sound promising to you? Ready to secure your #94 jersey now?

PS - Timmons' groin may feel better but it really feels like someone kicked me in my junk. Mondays suck. Commence commenting.

Timmons Picks Up Pace [Steel City Insider]


Marc said...

I'm very happy with this report. I think that Timmons got hurt and missed some time, but he wouldn't have gotten many more reps if any if he wasn't hurt, so he took more blame than he likely should have.

Marc said...

I'm very happy with this report. I think that Timmons got hurt and missed some time, but he wouldn't have gotten many more reps if any if he wasn't hurt, so he took more blame than he likely should have.

domski43 said...

I'm not cutting Timmons any slack this year...he needs to play (effectively)every game. He should shine on special teams/middle linebacker and live up to the expectations of a #15 overall pick in last years draft.

Timmons was drafted for his upside because he only started one year @ Florida State, but has a lot of raw physical abilities.

A few interceptions returned to pay dirt would come in handy as well.

I've got my eye on you Lawrence!

tobiathan said...

He's definitely the type of prototypical athlete-player i'd like to see in the middle. I'm a big advocate of the "4 OLB" 3-4 set. I like the idea of four guys who are all fast, tall, and smart. hose are the kind of players most teams relegate to outside LB positions, putting shorter, sloer but stronger guys at ILB. In the game today you need at least 3 LBs who can run.

Farrior, despite his age, should remain and important part of the defense for at least a couple more years. Wily types like him are hard to find. And we'll rarely find as talented and knowledgeable a guy who's wiling to run-stuff, pass-defend and seldom get the shot at big plays in favor of helping out the team like James Farrior.

But as far as Timons goes, i think he is fairly tall, no? Around 6'3"-6'4"? We need that heigth in there to break up dump passes and such.

And a speedy guy can kill Tom "I helped Bill cheat" Brady(fag). So that's nice.

tobiathan said...

Anybody else fin that title pic more than a little creepy?