Uh-Oh, Lawrence Timmons struggles against the run.
By Dagger | August 24, 2009
Two preseason games in the books and in both contests Lawrence Timmons has looked very shaky vs the run. We all thought it was odd last year when Timmons appeared ready to start yet remained on the bench on 1st and 2nd down. Larry Foote was clearly playing his last season with the Steelers yet still held down the starting job over Timmons. We may be slowly starting to understand why Timmons was being “hidden” and only came onto the field on 3rd down and passing situations. He’s great at getting to the QB, he can drop into a zone, and is athletic enough to cover a RB, TE, or even a WR in coverage.
Two meaningless preseason games aren’t enough visual evidence to send us into a panic but the Steelers need Timmons to plug holes, track the ball, shed blocks, and tackle guys in the run game.
While Timmons has struggled a bit through two games, Keyaron Fox has looked fantastic. He is playing so well, in fact, that some people out there wouldn’t mind seeing Fox step into Foote’s old role as the ILB on 1st and 2nd down and then giving way to Timmons on 3rd and passing situations. It’s a bit early to suggest a move as drastic as this, but it really wouldn’t be a bad idea if Keyaron Fox is able to keep up this level of play. I’m not ready to go this far just yet, but it’s nice to know that if for some reason Timmons struggles, Fox is a guy that is capable of stepping in and playing the role of Larry Foote. It’s also important to note that Fox is being given the chance to see some action with the starters in short-yardage and goal line situations. Obviously the coaches like the way he is playing right now.
Take a look at the 2 minute video we posted below. Timmons flashes his speed and skill a few times but he also has some incredibly ugly snaps. Fox is also featured and looks great. I think you will find that Timmons struggles when the ball is run right at him. When the ball goes the other direction, he is great at tracking down the ballcarrier with his speed. Fox on the other hand looks like a natural ILB and doesn’t care if the play is run at him or away from him. He sheds blocks, tracks the ball, and makes a play.
Analysis video here: