Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons Comfortable With Position Switch, Rookie Ryan Shazier

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.”

  • Matt Manzo

    Lots of updates today! Thanx guys!

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    I have all the faith in the world on our inside linebackers… but I am not sure our outside ones can get to the qb. Hopefully the upgrade at Dline will free them and give them a better chance this year.

  • dgh57

    I don’t think it necessarily has to be a position change for Timmons. Now this is just a theory I’m thinking about so there may be nothing to this but he may line up in a different spot as a Buck LB but with teams passing more the Buck and Mack LB may be merging right before our eyes and require as time goes on the Buck LB to be able to cover more in the passing game. Timmons already has that skill set so until I see him playing like a Buck LB by taking on DTs in running lanes I think we may have two Mack LBs.

  • cp72

    To me having two athletic guys in the middle opens up endless possibilites. If Shazier and Tuitt can play above their heads a little this year we could have a pretty scary front seven.

  • steelster

    Timmons and shazier may end up being the best ILB combo in the nfl by 2015.

  • Steelers12328882

    Not only that, but if Spence can come back healthy and with Williams starting most of last year our depth at the position is outstanding.

  • Steelers12328882

    Well, the BUCK still has to diagnose the offense pre snap and set up the defense accordingly. That will never change. Somebody has to take on the FBs and pulling Gs too while the other guy chases the play.

  • steeltown

    That’s what I keep thinking about, V.Williams and Spence backing up inside is pretty solid depth, plus throw Zumwalt or Garvin in the mix


    19-0, Baby!

  • rayster

    Could somebody ‘splain to me the difference between mack and buck LBs?!

  • pkeats86

    Mack is more of the coverage or “clean up” linebacker. Whereas the buck for the Steelers has traditionally been the run stopper and, in most cases, the playcaller.

  • dgh57

    Another way of putting it is the Buck is more of a downhill thumper who is stout against the run with some pass coverage skills. The Mack is more faster and athletic with more pass coverage skills than the Buck with run stopping skills.

  • rayster

    Both ILBs?
    Left vs right??

  • John Hinton

    I like #94’s closing statement, “he’s going to be a problem”.

  • Worilds – Shazier – Timmons – Jones. Think about that for a minute. Could be an awesome LB corps, with solid depth. I know there are huge questions at OLB and that the depth isn’t great there, but if everyone stays healthy there’s a ton of potential for this to be one of the top units in the league not just this year but for years to come.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    It makes me wonder if a desperate team might want one of the ILB’s and would give up a young CB prospect in a trade. Hmmmmmmm.

  • dgh57

    Yes both are ILBs. I think the Buck always plays the strong side where the TE is so it depends on how the offense lines up.

  • dgh57

    Hopefully Mount McCullers develops because that would be a hugh help also!

  • MC

    Good point.
    I believe that with Heyward and Tuitt giving us a pass rush from the DE spots, it might compensate for any lack from the OLB positions..