Friday, December 28, 2007

Lawrence Timmons Rated a Dud

Matt Sohn at Pro Football Weekly has made his assessments as to the best and worst of the first round picks in the 2007 NFL Draft, and Lawrence Timmons has made it on to the "Worst Picks" portion of the list. In his brief assessment, Mr. Sohn asserts Mr. Simmons been outplayed by LaMarr Woodley, and criticizes Mr. Timmons for primarily being "a special teams guy."

Great expectations are part of the territory for those players chosen high in the draft (Mr. Timmons was selected at #15), and it is undeniably true that Mr. Timmons has played almost exclusively on special teams. However, a look at some of the Steelers' other linebackers -- both current and former -- reveals that Mr. Timmons' first season in the NFL bears a striking similarity to some of his more well-regarded teammates (and one former Steelers linebacker).

PlayerGames PlayedGames StartedTacklesAssistsSacks
Larry Foote 1431370
Clark Haggans 20000
James Harrison 1000 0
Joey Porter 160002
Lawrence Timmons 1501120

What we've done is look at a few of the linebackers who, like Mr. Timmons, grew up professionally in Dick LeBeau's defensive system, as way of giving his first season some context. And while he may not have had the immediate impact all fans of the Black & Gold hoped he would, Mr. Timmons appears to be serving an apprenticeship of sorts -- not to mention he's playing behind the team's Most Valuable Player, James Harrison.

The good folks out Pro Football Weekly have a right to their opinion, and we understand it, but this is one judgment that seems a little premature.

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