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Like Hood, Mike Tomlin’s first draft pick as Steelers head coach, Lawrence Timmons, had a lot of doubters, and for good reason.
Timmons struggled to adjust to the defense over his first two seasons as his impact was limited to situational passing downs.
On paper, Timmons has all of the athleticism and talent that anyone could ask for in a linebacker, but he did not know the defense well enough to play a disciplined game.
As a result, his play on the field did not fulfill his potential. One of the biggest concerns was that Timmons was weak against the run, not exactly what Pittsburgh looks for in its defenders.
By year three, Timmons stepped into a starting role and picked up seven sacks and began to show some of his enormous potential, but he still struggled against the run. Part of these struggles may have been that Timmons was unable to stay completely healthy.
Entering his fourth season, big things were expected from Timmons and he delivered.
He took over the pass coverage role from Farrior, so his sack total dropped to only three on the season, but he had a team-high 135 tackles and added two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
At times early in the season, Timmons was the top defender on Pittsburgh’s defense.
With another year of experience, Timmons should have nothing but big things to come in the future.