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View Full Version : Steelers linebacker Farrior: better, not older



StlersGuy
07-21-2010, 09:08 AM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Ask inside linebacker and co-captain James Farrior about the uneven performance of the Steelers defense last season, and he doesn't hesitate to point the finger of blame at himself.

"I left a lot of plays out on the field. There were some situations I could have played a lot better," Farrior said Monday following a three-hour workout at ESPN Wide World of Sports. "No matter what anybody says, we had a bad year. I didn't play as well as I wanted to play, and I know a lot of guys on the team felt the same way."

Finishing 9-7 a year after winning Super Bowl XLIII, the Steelers missed the playoffs by one game, For Farrior, a player accustomed to an overabundance of success during 13 NFL seasons, not reaching the postseason was unacceptable.

Especially when Farrior didn't perform up to his normal lofty standards.

At 35 and the second-oldest player on the team (behind quarterback Charlie Batch), Farrior suggests he's getting better, not older. He also predicts a turnaround not only for himself, but for a defense that's anxious to reclaim its status among the league's most dominant units.

Farrior said media criticism regarding his individual performance despite leading the team in tackles four consecutive seasons has given him unexpected motivation.

"That adds fuel to the fire. That's one of the motivating factors for me how bad we played last year. You're going to do everything in your power not to let that happen again," said Farrior, who is entering the third year of a five-year contract. "Whenever people doubt you, say negative stuff about you, as a competitor, you try to prove everybody wrong. It makes you want to work that much harder.

"I don't feel like the oldest guy on the team. Age is just a number. I don't want to put a time limit on anything. As long as my body feels healthy, as long as I'm mentally into it, I want to keep playing."

That's why Farrior, who calls defensive signals, was pushing himself under the watchful eye of speed and conditioning guru Tom Shaw only 11 days before the opening of training camp.

Based on yesterday's workout, Farrior didn't act his age. He didn't take extra water breaks in the stifling heat and humidity and went all-out in every drill.

"That's why I come down here with Tom. He knows how to get people in shape," Farrior said. "He treats everybody the same. We know when he gives us a drill, it's going to be very beneficial for us."

Farrior appears determined to bounce back from last season. He remains confident he hasn't lost a step and sees no reason why he shouldn't be on the field for passing downs.

Dating to 2001 in his final season with the New York Jets before joining the Steelers as a free agent, Farrior has started 140 of a possible 144 games. He hasn't missed a start since 2005.

"That's my goal, to be out there as much as I can," said Farrior, who made it clear he believes he's the best player for the position. "I never want to come off the field. As far as the coaching goes, that's up to them what they decide to do."

Even after all these years, Farrior still believes his game has room for improvement.

"If I didn't feel that way, I wouldn't be out here busting my butt every day. If I didn't think I could get better and help this team try to get to another championship, I would give it up," Farrior said. "I understand that I'm getting older and I'm not getting any faster or stronger, but as long as I can maintain that high level of play, I still want to play."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_691133.html

BlitzburghRockCity
07-21-2010, 09:23 AM
I wouldn't expect anything less from Farrior; he's a pro and you know he was not happy with how he played last year. He'll have to be on top of his game this year, since the linebackers are the heart and soul of a 34 defense. He's only got another year or 2 left in him at this point and with so many young guys backing up the starters he'll be valuable in helping to teach them as they step up for us in the future.

airbrake 1
07-21-2010, 09:25 AM
I think it was a domino effect lat year. With aaron smith being out it exposed the linebacking corp and in turn the linebacking corp exposed the secondary. Hopefully this year barring injury and the return of foote and McFadden and having a healthy polamalu and smith will bring the defence back to where it was even though they are a year older and WISER. The one big thing i hope doesn't happen is that Polamalu's knee goes bad again this year because if it does it's probably safe to assume there is a chronic problem there maybe career ending pray that's not the case because if it is we could see another 2009... GO STEELERS...:crossfingers:

K Train
07-21-2010, 10:52 AM
lebeau doesnt know how to move on, farrior had a surge late in his career where he was brilliant and had some of his best seasons....last year he was the slowest player on the field, casey hampton looked more explosive. until we get a new body playin MACK farrior will hold the defense back

steelcitysfinestXL
07-21-2010, 12:17 PM
lebeau doesnt know how to move on, farrior had a surge late in his career where he was brilliant and had some of his best seasons....last year he was the slowest player on the field, casey hampton looked more explosive. until we get a new body playin MACK farrior will hold the defense back

I hate to say it, but i fear your right. Though, i think he gets/deserves the nod as the starter week 1. I'd also like to see a comparison of when its Timmons/Farrior vs. Foote/Farrior vs. Timmon/Foote.

I think there is something to be said about the games Keyeron Fox replaced Timmons in (esp. against TEN & MIN who have the best 2 RB's in the NFL) and the fact that they were both held incheck (3.8 ypc each). I like Timmons, i think he is dynmic, explosive and a great cover man... but he plays the run like a b*tch ( i have that replay of McClain running his *** over for a TD looping in my head now) at times where Foote/Farrior/Fox excel. Either way atleast they know they have 4 qaulity starters at MLB now.

SteelCityKid5
07-21-2010, 01:25 PM
He's been a great player but father time is always undefeated. Farrior cant help that.

mos07
07-21-2010, 01:33 PM
How many years til Worilds lines up outside and Harrison moves inside? Worilds-Harrison-Timmons-Woodley........2011 sounds good to me....

Steelers_All_Day_43
07-21-2010, 02:48 PM
How many years til Worilds lines up outside and Harrison moves inside? Worilds-Harrison-Timmons-Woodley........2011 sounds good to me....Harrison moving inside is a bad idea. It would take away his advantage of being smaller and quicker than most tackles.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-21-2010, 03:21 PM
lebeau doesnt know how to move on, farrior had a surge late in his career where he was brilliant and had some of his best seasons....last year he was the slowest player on the field, casey hampton looked more explosive. until we get a new body playin MACK farrior will hold the defense back

I agree 100 percent with this post......I like James Farrior and he surpassed my expectations of him when he signed as a FA from the Jets........But his best days are behind him and its time for him to be a backup.....Problem is.....Who take his spot in the starting lineup?.....Timmons sliding over to the Mack?

K Train
07-21-2010, 03:55 PM
Harrison moving inside is a bad idea. It would take away his advantage of being smaller and quicker than most tackles.

hmmm harrison is the strongest LB we got, he can take on guards 1-1 and he is a phenom against the run....hes not quick, timmons is quick...harrison is powerful and would best fit in the middle, OLB is actually not his best position at all even though hes badass wherever he plays

MattyVfromCT
07-21-2010, 05:40 PM
hmmm harrison is the strongest LB we got, he can take on guards 1-1 and he is a phenom against the run....hes not quick, timmons is quick...harrison is powerful and would best fit in the middle, OLB is actually not his best position at all even though hes badass wherever he plays

agree with that. also you look at how good timmons is as a pass rusher. in the times he would fill in for harrison for a couple plays for an injury he was ridiculously fast to the qb. plus timmons played olb in college. he hasn't been that great inside. he's soft against the run and is average at best in coverage. his biggest asset is his pass rushing ability.

K Train
07-21-2010, 06:13 PM
timmons is the best pass rusher on the team whether hes outside or blowing up the middle....hes also very weak against the run but has improving, i dont think his coverage is less than average though, hes sensational in coverage....so fast and fluid he can run stride for stride with any TE and most WRs and hes a LB so thats saying something

HUNT4SEVEN
07-21-2010, 07:24 PM
timmons is the best pass rusher on the team whether hes outside or blowing up the middle....hes also very weak against the run but has improving, i dont think his coverage is less than average though, hes sensational in coverage....so fast and fluid he can run stride for stride with any TE and most WRs and hes a LB so thats saying something

Agree Timmons has to learn how to play with more self control when Blitzing the qb,and he needs to be a better tackler, but he can run with TE's and most WR's And IMO it's a wrap for Farrior i would like to see him come in on 3rd down let Foote play 1st and 2nd downs Farrior is not a 3 down player no more he proved that last year...

steelcitysfinestXL
07-22-2010, 07:34 AM
timmons is the best pass rusher on the team whether hes outside or blowing up the middle....hes also very weak against the run but has improving, i dont think his coverage is less than average though, hes sensational in coverage....so fast and fluid he can run stride for stride with any TE and most WRs and hes a LB so thats saying something

WHOA buddy... slow that comment in bold up. I'd like to see him line up outside and take on T's a lil bit more before i say hes a better pash rusher than Woodley or Harrison. He's a GREAT blitzer due to two things: 1). His REDICULOUS speed 2). And blitzing from the inside while teams are schemeing to stop 2 beasts outside while blocking Smith and Diesel. The rest of this post is spot on!

Timmons, IMO will REALLY have to carve his own role this season. He HAS to improve on the inside. Worilds will suprise people i think and push for some back up reps outside. I can see Gibson being REALLY hit or miss, but i hoping he isnt another Bruce Davis, i think Thadeous has some SERIOUS petential. So we have some young guys to work outside. We all know what were gonna get from Foote. He'll take Farriors spot if Timmons improves and Farrior is really on the decline.

K Train
07-22-2010, 08:11 AM
id prefer to see timmons take the outside and shift harrison to the MACK and have foote the BUCK (his only position imo)

but timmons is also better suited for farriors MACK spot, he would be the #1 contender to replace farrior at this point, i wouldnt want foote to be that guy

steelcitysfinestXL
07-22-2010, 09:40 AM
id prefer to see timmons take the outside and shift harrison to the MACK and have foote the BUCK (his only position imo)

but timmons is also better suited for farriors MACK spot, he would be the #1 contender to replace farrior at this point, i wouldnt want foote to be that guy

I see your point and agree...timmons would more likely fill Farriors role and Foote would resume his old Buck position. Timmons would PROB fit better in that mack position where he'd still be able to use his coverage abilites a bit more. And i think Larry is a stud at buck, not flashy but VERY productive and runs that X stunt to a f'in T!

Not saying Harrison wouldnt be a stud at ILB (either Mack or Buck pos.) but i think unless he's forced there (ie: injury to an ILB combined with Worilds proving he's a stud OLB) he's gonna stay outside til he retires.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-22-2010, 02:02 PM
id prefer to see timmons take the outside and shift harrison to the MACK and have foote the BUCK (his only position imo)

but timmons is also better suited for farriors MACK spot, he would be the #1 contender to replace farrior at this point, i wouldnt want foote to be that guy

Hell no to Foote at the Mack....that would be terrible.....Timmons wouldn't be able to handle OLB every down for 16 games a season Train....Really I couldn't seem him going up against OT's constantly and being a force against the run .......I also disagree big time on Timmons being the best pass rusher on the team.......He might be the most explosive especially when it comes to his first step which makes him very effective when he blitzes but I don't think Timmons is on Woodley's or Harrison's level when it comes to pass rushing.....

I think Timmons should be moved to the Mack since Farrior is on the decline and I also think at times he could move to OLB no problem.....But not as full time OLB..........I agree with you about Timmon's skill set in coverage....But at times Timmons is still madly inconsistent in coverage......I'm really hoping Timmons takes the next step this year......I don't think he has been a bust at all and I think he is a very good play-maker in this defense but at the same time he has been very inconsistent......He is still a very young player as well so I'm far from giving up on him.........

Worilds and Gibson are unproven....I'm high on both of these guys and I hope that both become studs.......But you never know with these DE that convert to OLB........Bill Polian said Worilds was the second best pass rusher in the draft.......I trust Polian's track record when judging players.....

But there is more to playing OLB in the Steelers 3-4 then just rushing the passer.......Worilds will have to prove he can play the run to and also be able to drop into coverage.......

Gibson was tremendous value in the 4th round....I saw some draft reports listing Gibson as a late 2nd round and early 3rd round prospect.......Still Gibson has to prove he can make the transition as well at the NFL level......

K Train
07-22-2010, 02:18 PM
lebeau has said before that timmons is the best pass rusher, he doesnt have the strength of woodley and harrison but his pass rush skills are completely different, more like ware or dumervill. the power bull rush isnt his move at all, and harrison and woodley are nothing without it so its a great mixup of different rushers

Black@Gold Forever32
07-22-2010, 02:29 PM
lebeau has said before that timmons is the best pass rusher, he doesnt have the strength of woodley and harrison but his pass rush skills are completely different, more like ware or dumervill. the power bull rush isnt his move at all, and harrison and woodley are nothing without it so its a great mixup of different rushers

I'm not doubting Timmon's pass rushing skills at all....His first step is very explosive and he is great at blitzing........Yea I know I have heard LeBeau say the same things about Timmons.....But what are talking about here just pure pass rushing skills or results?.........You know what I'm saying....Of course his skill sets are different then Harrison or Woodley......That is why I don't think Timmons could OLB in a 3-4 for a full 16 game season.....He is just a different type of player who is better suited at ILB......Yea its a great mix up of pass rushers but the Steelers have always done this......From Lloyd, Greene, Brown, Kirkland, Gildon, Porter, Harrison, Woodley, Timmons.......Even Kendrell Bell before the injuries........

MattyVfromCT
07-22-2010, 07:06 PM
timmons is the best pass rusher on the team whether hes outside or blowing up the middle....hes also very weak against the run but has improving, i dont think his coverage is less than average though, hes sensational in coverage....so fast and fluid he can run stride for stride with any TE and most WRs and hes a LB so thats saying something

he can stay stride for stride with receivers and tight ends because of his speed but some of his tendencies in coverage are still lacking a bit imo. there's been several plays where the receiver is looking back for the pass and it's obvious that it's coming to him but timmons will wait til the last minute to turn around and locate the pass, etc. but i'll give him the benefit of the doubt because he was originally an olb in college and 09 was his first full season as a starter. i expect him to show some improvement in that but i still think he'd be better off as an olb because of his pass rush ability

--- Added 7/22/2010 at 06:06 PM ---


lebeau has said before that timmons is the best pass rusher, he doesnt have the strength of woodley and harrison but his pass rush skills are completely different, more like ware or dumervill. the power bull rush isnt his move at all, and harrison and woodley are nothing without it so its a great mixup of different rushers

i'd like to see lebeau mix up our lb's a lot more to confuse offenses. like parcells did with lt by lining him up in different locations. the 3-4 is based a lot more on confusing the offense on where the blitz is coming from so mix things up occasionally.

andyg1984
07-22-2010, 07:13 PM
so how does the drafting of worilds/gibson play into the replacement of farrior? to me it seems that would have made more sense to move timmons outside ..

i hate to be one of those guys, but how sick would it have been to drafted rey mal and have him on the inside with harrison, woodley and timmons on the outside .. my gut tells me he will be better for a 3-4 than ziggy ;) and it is not like this did not make perfect sense at the time ..

steelcitysfinestXL
07-23-2010, 08:48 AM
Point being... i know if Timmons was at olb and i had to game plan for the steelers... i'd run it right at his *** on every run play. You have to be able, as a OLB (3-4), set the edge on run plays. Watch James Harrison when a tackle tries to kick him out on a run play... worst case scenario he stalemates the T, and doesnt leave much of a whole if any to run through. Usually he stalemates, dishrags hisman, and gets in on the tackle. He maybe the best OL in the league at doing that. Woodley is also VERY hard to move on the run. Which i RARE for pass rush OLB's and DE's.

I think Timmons would get eaten alive by any run blocking tackle worth a ****, if he played everydown at OLB. Timmons needs to be able to read/run/react to be at his most effective and he wont have the luxury at OLB in this defense.