It wasn\’t until I went back over the NFL Network Top 100 Players of 2013 list today that I noticed that Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons didn\’t make it. If you want to talk about a total snubbing, this is certainly a great example of one.
According to Pro Football Focus, Timmons ranked fifth on their 2012 rankings of all inside linebackers. Timmons not only was second on that list in quarterback sacks with six, but his three interceptions tied him for second behind only London Fletcher of the Washington Redskins.
So does Timmons get knocked for his coverage skills? Perhaps, but it is important to remember that the Steelers inside linebackers play a lot of zone as opposed to man with the primary goal being not to give up the big play and limit the yards after the catch. Even though he did allow a 78% completion ratio in 2012, his 73.8 quarterback rating against ranked him fourth overall in the PFF rankings.
When you look at more in depth stat sites such as Advanced NFL Stats; you will see that Timmons ranked first overall against all linebackers in the Win Probability Added department and second overall in the Expected Points Added stat. What more does Timmons have to do?
A lot of people were down on Timmons following the 2011 season, but as I pointed out previously, his play at outside linebacker that season in place of an injured James Harrison needs to be excused and taken into consideration as that is not his natural position, and it certainly doesn\’t match his skill set.
As far as durability goes, Timmons has missed all of 34 snaps the last two seasons with a handful of those including him pulled off the field in lieu of an extra defensive back.
The Steelers defense certainly has suffered over the years when safety Troy Polamalu hasn\’t been able to play due to injuries, but they have won some games without him just the same. A loss of Timmons for an extended amount of time would be even more brutal and that alone should tell how important he is to the defense.
So is Timmons the biggest top 100 list snub this year? I am sure there are a few other players from other teams that were snubbed as well, but leaving Timmons completely off the list tells you all you need to know about the credibility of the list and those players that supposedly voted on it.