Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons Justifiably Sees Himself As A \”Game-Changer\”

A few weeks ago I stated that Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons was perhaps one of the biggest snubs on the Top 100 Players of 2013 show that was put together by the NFL Network and the former first-round draft pick recently told Ralph Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he sees himself as a key playmaker on the Steelers defense as he heads into his seventh season.

“I look at myself as a game-changer, and I try to make that a facet of my game,” Timmons said. “I look forward to those opportunities, because I want to live up to those expectations.”

Timmons had a solid 2012 season that included him registering 106 solo tackles, three interceptions and six sacks and his overtime interception against Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10 single-handedly won the game.

Timmons Chiefs OT interception animated GIF

The 27-year-old linebacker took a lot of heat for his play in 2011, but many forget that he was forced to play out of position for four of those games due to right outside linebacker James Harrison being sidelined by injury. Timmons is not an outside linebacker, and it severely hurt the defense by having him play out of position.

While many will try to pin the loss to Oakland Raiders last season on Timmons because of the completion that he allowed to tight end Brandon Myers on third down late in the game, it was quite simply a great throw and catch. Outside of that one play Timmons was still the Steelers best defensive player on the field that day that included him registering four stops.

Steelers Raiders Timmons Myers Animated GIF

While many just are now realizing that Timmons is a big-time player on defense, in 2010, he was ranked the top inside linebacker by both Pro Football Focus and Advanced NFL Stats. It\’s funny how that is all forgotten because of his 2011 season.

Timmons doesn\’t have to improve in 2013; he just needs to continue playing at the same level that he did last season. He indeed is a game-changer, just as he stated in his interview, and I expect more of that this upcoming season.

While the Steelers certainly have question marks concerning outside linebackers Jason Worilds and LaMarr Woodley this year, Timmons is anything but a question mark. He is hitting the prime of his career right now and the only thing that can slow him down in 2013 is injuries or being forced to play out of position once again.

  • sgtrobo

    yep. Let’s see more 2012 and 2010 and let’s try to forget about 2011. It happens to everyone, a bad season. I’m wondering how he’ll do with Snack not being the plug in the middle anymore.

  • Steves

    Timmons was asked by his coaches to play outside linebacker in 2011 and he did it for the good of the team and did it because James had 2 back surgery’s and was not ready to play.

    Last year Timmons did great. He was our best linebacker and had an Al Pro season. We can’t get caught up in “If only this happen or if only that happen” when it comes to winning and loosing a game, we have to play better and go on.

  • Steves

    You can never forget cause History repeats itself.

    On the 2nd video, look how #93 (Jason Worilds) plays “Patty Cake” with the OT #68 Jared Veldheer?? I have seen a lot of play from Worilds like this and if it continues, he will not be around long!

  • TrueSteelerForLife

    I dont think Timmons is a game changer yet! He needs to produce more splash plays in my opinion. He is a great blitzer and can move, but i rarely see Timmons make plays behind the line of scrimmage in the run game. I think this year is gonna be BIg for Lawrence. He has kinda become like Farrior, where he is a key to our defense but never gets recognition by the league. Big hopes for this year though, if he can play like he did closer to the end of last year.

  • TrueSteelerForLife

    I think part of that is by design. He is maintaining his lane so he can disengage and tackle the QB if he starts rolling out. Check Woodley on that play though, he wasnt gonna be stopped! 56 will kill people this year, as long as he gets help from the other side!!

  • Paul

    He had 10 TFL’s last year

  • Madi

    Who blamed Timmons for the Oakland loss? Even on that play he had very good coverage. No one can beat the perfect throw. I seem to remember some ugly turnovers by our offense, and a general collapse from the secondary in that game.
    And Timmons played well in 2011 if you forget about the games he was playing out of position. And even then, he wasn’t bad, he just can’t rush the edge and wasn’t the force he is on the inside. He hasn’t really had a bad year in his career, unless you count his rookie season where he had some injuries and only played special teams. He’s had two outstanding seasons. He’s been healthy. He should have another great season this year.

  • VaDave

    Timmons had a great year no doubt. In the first GIF, The KC QB made a horrible decision to throw to that receiver. Not only did Timmons drop into that zone for the pic, but Taylor had him blanketed man on man.

    BTW, thanks again for the GIFs. These are great for discussion purposes.

  • VaDave

    True.. you are correct, Worilds had outside contain, Also note that Foote was running a dog to the inside. If Worlids pushed on #68, he would have plugged the gap Foote was blitzing through, who incidentally, made it to the QB before Woodley. Unfortunately, they were both late and a dollar short.

  • Garrett Hunt

    <— Only jersey I have

  • dgh57

    The best and scariest(for other teams) part is he’s still in his PRIME years and signed through 2016!!

    I could see Timmons having a great year even more if McLendon turns out to be the player I think he can be.

  • charles

    Timmons for his type of physique has been, in pass coverage, quite honestly, unbelievable. This article also doesn’t credit him for when he has ben asked (kind of like Ike), to take one player out of the game, whether it is the Qb (griffen in Washington) or a running back. Yes, Timmons is a game changer and sometimes because you don’t hear about it.

  • Mike Sweeney

    He’s a smart and dangerous player and we know this. If opposing QB’s get pressured on a regular basis, no doubt is the scariest ILB, in the league. Strength, intelligence and speed, is a beautiful recipe for carnage.

  • Luke Shabro

    Thank God for Timmons! I don’t care about his “down year” in 2011. This guy is like the Heath Miller of the defense. Steady Eddy! 99% of the time if you need to get off the field on third down and its a run or a short to intermediate pass he’s your man.

  • Brendon Glad

    I like Timmons a lot. And I’m going to run the risk of being blasted by more knowledgeable x’s and o’s fans, because I honestly don’t know the true intricacies of the 3-4 defense enough to be confident.
    BUT, I hearken back to Aaron Smith being quoted as saying, “Lawrence Timmons will be the best defensive player in the NFL someday.” That was in Timmons’ 2nd or 3rd year.
    So, while we in Steelers Nation are happy with him…the fact that the body of players don’t think enough of him to put him in the top-100 forces some questions, even though the players as a whole definitely shouldn’t be applying for GM jobs based on some of their results.
    But it needs to be addressed. We have never heard a peep about Timmons being anything other than a hard worker. He has put his early injury problems aside, for the most part. He has shown enough intelligence to switch positions several times.
    YET, when we watch a game, he spends quite a few games being more innocuous than a guy who we’ve been told should at some point be the best defensive player in the NFL.
    Therefore, the obvious question would be “Was Aaron Smith pretty far off-base?” That’s the easy one.
    But I think it is also fair to question whether Dick Lebeau is being creative enough with him. It seems like the D.C. found a way for Kendrell Bell to make a myriad of “splash-plays” early in his career from the same ILB position, right? And I think as it has played out, we are pretty safe to say that Lawrence Timmons is a better player…at least way more well-rounded…for 100% sure of that. So why not more “splash plays” It’s a fairly big question. I hope and expect that Timmons will break-out this year. He had a game (was it the NYJ game?…where he LOOKED like the Timmons Aaron Smith told us about). But I’d like to see it more often.