David Seelig/Associated Press
It might seem hard to believe, but 28-year-old Lawrence Timmons is now the elder statesman of the Steelers front seven. In fact, of the projected starters only Steve McLendon, who entered the league two years after Timmons did in 2007, is older.
Being 28 isn’t old by any stretch; Ray Lewis’ career spanned nearly a full decade after that birthday. That being said, 28 seems old when comparing Timmons to his fellow linebackers.
Neither Jarvis Jones, Vince Williams or Ryan Shazier is older than 24. 2010 second-rounder Jason Worilds turned 26 three months ago. That means the onus is on Timmons to lead this young, athletic group of linebackers.
It’s a role he was pressed into for much of last season when both Larry Foote and LaMarr Woodley were sidelined by injury. Timmons responded with the second-highest number of tackles for a season (126) of his career.
Now, the familiar faces of Foote and Woodley will no longer be around team facilities. Timmons will again be relied upon to get his fellow troops in the front seven in order. Without him, that responsibility would fall to one of the aforementioned youngsters who will, in many cases, be puzzling over their own duties.