There were a lot of disappointments Sunday afternoon when the Pittsburgh Steelers turned in a less-than-spectacular performance in their season-opening loss against the Tennessee Titans.
However one of the biggest disappointments came in the form of inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who after having one heck of a year in 2012, turned in a below average Week 1 performance.
Timmons recorded only five tackles, took plenty of bad angles, missed a tackle on the Titans only touchdown run and was beaten for a 25-yard pass that led to a field goal.
But now that his Week 1 bad performance is out of the way, there is more pressure on Timmons now to perform at a Pro Bowl level than ever before.
Why is that the case you may ask? That answer is Larry Foote’s season-ending biceps injury.
While Foote may not be the best inside linebacker in the league, he was a veteran presence who made all of the defensive calls prior to the snap.
The bottom line is Foote was reliable and a calming presence on the Steelers’ defense. Timmons must now step up and be that guy.
The Steelers simply can’t ask Kion Wilson, who as of Tuesday is in line to start in Foote’s absence, to fill his shoes. That means Timmons must take on more responsibility in the Steelers defense and must turn in 15 great games the rest of the way.
He’s only 27 but is entering his seventh season in the league. Timmons has 95 games played under his belt and it’s time he takes on more than a leadership role.
The Florida State product will have a lot more responsibility now. He doesn’t necessarily have to step up as a vocal leader, but he can be a tone setter and let his play do the talking for him.
We will find out Monday night if he is capable of carrying on the extra responsibility.