Lawrence Timmons Must Assume Leadership Role


December 9, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) carries the ball as Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) defends during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The San Diego Chargers won 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers’ defense suffered an enormous blow on Sunday afternoon when Larry Foote exited the game with a torn bicep.  The injury will keep Foote sidelined throughout the 2013 regular season, and the loss of the veteran leaves Pittsburgh’s defense without their “play-caller” and most veteran member.

While the loss of Foote is definitely detrimental, the Steelers do have the talented and experienced Lawrence Timmons set to take over for the veteran as the defense’s “play-caller.”  In a recent article on the Steelers’ team website, Jarvis Jones said that “Lawrence does a great job of calling (plays) and setting the defense up, as well.”

I for one am not worried about Timmons assuming Foote’s role for the rest of this season.  Timmons is coming off of one of the best seasons of his professional career (106 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, five passes defensed), and he has been one of the most underrated inside linebackers in the league for the last three seasons.

As it stands, the next 15 games will provide the seventh-year linebacker with the chance to become the leader of the linebacker corps and future leader of Pittsburgh’s defense.

This could turn out to be a positive  as well, especially since Foote could be a “cap casualty” next March if the Steelers’ brass are unwilling to pay the inside linebacker the $1.5 million in base salary he is scheduled to earn in 2014 and 2015.

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