For a second season in a row, veteran inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons is having to break in a rookie to play alongside him with first-round draft pick Ryan Shazier seemingly being fast tracked to be the 2014 opening day starter. While the Steelers first OTA session of the year is now only two days old, Timmons likes what he’s seen so far out of the Ohio State product during practices.
“The guy (Shazier) has all the ability in the world and I’m just happy to play out with him,” Timmons told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Timmons, however, didn’t stop there with his praise of Shazier.
“He can pick up the game fast and he has knowledge of the game” he said. “He’s going to be fun to play with.”
With Shazier already an early fixture with the first-team defense at the mack linebacker position, Timmons is now having to man the buck position, a position that was mostly manned last year by then-rookie Vince Williams after veteran Larry Foote was lost for the year in the season-opener to a biceps injury. So far, he seems to think he’s handling the position switch just fine, according to Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider.
“The first day I got all the calls right, just like I did last year,” said Timmons, who said he made the calls last season from the mack position after Foote went down injured.
Even though Timmons will likely be playing a new position alongside a rookie in 2014, he doesn’t believe that will affect what the Steelers have always done defensively as far as their scheme goes.
“We’re always going to blitz,” said a confident Timmons. “We’re always going to blitz and I don’t think that’s ever going to stop. We’re going to have plenty of ways that we’re going to come at you.”
That should not only be fun for Timmons, but Shazier as well, thanks to his speed and quick first step.
“The guy can run down anyone, an amazing athlete,” said Timmons. “Once he puts it together he’s going to be a problem.”