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Insider Only DePaoli: Tomlin challenging Lawrence Timmons

Tomlin eyeing breakout year from former 1st round pick
Starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons was Mike Tomlin’s first draft pick as Steelers head coach in 2007.
The days leading up to the 2007 draft it was long believed that Timmons was Tomlin’s top target and indications are Timmons would have still been the Steelers selection at No. 15, even if the Jets didn’t trade up and select coveted cornerback Darrell Revis with the No. 14 overall selection.
The 24 year old linebacker is now entering his fourth NFL season and while Timmons has not been a disappointment by any means, he has had some ups and downs.
The Steelers as others do believe Timmons has star potential. He is one of the most talented/dynamic linebackers in the game but just hasn’t been able to put it all together just yet.
Tomlin is demanding big things in 2010 from his former 1st round pick.
“He {Lawrence Timmons} better be! It’s time, ” Tomlin said today, when asked a question about James Farrior saying “Timmons is poised for a breakout year.”

“Lawrence has been hear long enough and is ridiculously talented, ” Tomlin added.
Timmons has taken a lot of heat due to his inconsistencies in stopping the run. That’s an area he may never become great at but he’s a player you can’t take off the field, which linebackers coach Keith Butler has mentioned on many occasions this training camp.
Timmons is a special talent who can play all three linebacker positions and is extremely dynamic from the outside. He had 78 tackles and 7 sacks last season in an injury riddled season that was plagued by continuous ankle injuries.
However, Tomlin is challenging his former first round pick to become a dominant player in 2010.
Being dynamic and gifted can only get him so far. Now Tomlin is looking for him to put it all together and become that dominant linebacker many believe he can become.
Timmons appears to be hearing the message. He has shown up to camp in excellent shape and appears highly motivated on and off the field to put it all together.
The biggest part of Timmons putting it all together this season is just understanding the game better as the game will then slow down for him.
James Farrior told the Tribune-Review this week that Timmons could become one of the best linebackers in the league.
“This is going to be his breakout year, trust me” Farrior said to the paper. “He could be one of the best in the league as soon as he gets it all together. Once the game starts slowing down for him and he understands and stays healthy, the sky is the limit. He is just a freak of nature.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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